If you have diabetes, you are at a much higher risk for foot or leg amputation. This is due to the increased chance of developing non-healing wounds or foot ulcers. In fact, 85% of diabetes-related amputations are caused by foot ulcerations, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Foot ulcers from diabetes are caused by a few different conditions. The first is the close relationship between diabetes and peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD causes a build-up of plaque in the artery wall and can lead to a blockage of the lower extremity, according to Society for Vascular Surgery. This narrowing of the may cause ulcers or open wounds and infections that may lead to amputation, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Long-term hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels, is also particularly damaging to blood vessels, potentially causing decreased circulation. This can make it harder for the body to heal wounds, especially at the extremities like the feet and legs, according to Diabetes Daily.
Diabetes can also cause extensive nerve damage, or neuropathy. Neuropathy can worsen a patient’s ability to feel or recognize a small cut on their foot. If the wound is left untreated it can cause infection, if the patient is diabetic, a simple cut into an amputation.
If you have diabetes, there are ways to help reduce your risk of amputation. Check out these tips below from Diabetes Daily.
If you have a non-healing wound and have been told amputation is your only option, you can contact FCCI’s Amputation Prevention Center today at 904.493.3333