Diabetes is a systemic disease that extends its reach to the lower extremities. It is often complications of diabetes in the legs and feet that pose the greatest threat to health and longevity, especially when a limb must be amputated. This is why our team wants to raise awareness about Diabetes amputation statistics. One of the most common problems associated with diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, likely due to ischemic damage to the nerves in the legs and feet. Numbness in the lower extremities is a serious problem because a patient cannot feel sharp objects under the feet or in the shoes, leading to injury to soft tissues. Such injuries may result in poorly healing ulcerations as a result of arterial insufficiency caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD) which is heavily associated with diabetes. Non-healing ulcerations may become infected. When an infection reaches the bone an amputation is almost inevitable.
In the series of articles on the subject of diabetes and amputation prevention, Dr. Sergei Sobolevsky provides valuable insight into diabetes, prevention of vascular complications, and proactive treatment strategies in order to save limbs.
The first discussion is about important statistical data. This presentation aims to raise awareness of the prevalence of diabetes and associated amputation. Some of these data may be alarming. Our intent is to encourage people to take an active approach to the mitigation of diabetes complications. Understanding such maladies as diabetic ulcers in lower extremities could help reduce the risk of limb amputation because a timely detection and appropriate management of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) remains one of the most effective ways to preserve the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
Diabetes Amputation Statistics
Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Amputation
These are some of the surprising diabetes amputation statistics – detailing how common diabetic foot ulcers really are, rates of amputation, and their impact on longevity.
- A foot ulcer is an initiating event in more than 85% of major amputations that are performed in diabetic patients.
- Annually, in the United States, about 73,000 amputations of the lower extremities are performed in patients with diabetes.
- Globally, it’s estimated that every 30 seconds one leg is amputated due to diabetes.
- The lifetime risk of developing a foot ulcer for someone with diabetes is 25%.
- In one study, research showed that following an amputation, as many as 50% of patients with diabetes will die within 2 years.
Risk Factors for Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Diabetic foot ulcers are preventable if patients take proper care of their feet. There are multiple conditions that lead to the development of ulcers and impact their ability to heal on their own.
- Diabetic neuropathy is implicated in 45-60% of diabetic foot ulcers.
- Waiting longer than 6 weeks to visit a specialist for a diabetic foot ulcer significantly increases the likelihood that an ulcer will result in an amputation.
- The risk for amputation can be significantly reduced by as much as 75% if a team specializing in the care of diabetic foot ulcers is involved.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Infection
- Osteomyelitis (infection in the bone) is diagnosed in 15% of people with diabetic foot ulcers. Osteomyelitis cannot be managed by conservative treatment with antibiotics. Unfortunately, infected bone must be surgically removed by amputation.
PAD and Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Once an ulcer develops it takes 10-20 times more energy to heal the wound compared to the energy requirement of intact tissue. In patients with diabetes, Peripheral Artery Disease does not allow delivery of needed energy. The treatment is aimed to optimize arterial blood flow to the lower legs and feet to help deliver oxygen and nutrients to an ulcer stimulating natural healing.
- About 20% of patients with symptomatic PAD have diabetes.
Peripheral Artery Disease Treatments
Dr. Sergei A. Sobolevsky specializes in the state-of-the-art methods of diagnosis and treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease. His clinical team utilizes extensive knowledge and expertise in providing safe and highly effective treatment to patients with arterial insufficiency.
Early intervention and treatment of PAD can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing a diabetic ulcer while also boosting tissues’ ability to properly heal if an ulcer in fact occurs.
Don’t wait for things to get worse, visit us today and get the help you deserve!
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1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report: Estimates of Diabetes and Its Burden in the United States, 2014, Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2014. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hpdata2020/hp2020_-d_ckd_progress_review_presentation.pdf (accessed 8/1/2016)
2 Brownrigg, J.R.W., Apelqvist, J., Bakker, K., Schaper, N.C., and Hinchliffe, R.J., Evidence-based managed of PAD & the Diabetic Foot. Euro J Vasc and Endovasular Surg, 2013. 45(6): p. 673-681. http://www.ejves.com/article/S1078-5884(13)00136-6/abstract (accessed 7/30/2016)
3 Yazdanpanah, L., Nasiri, M., Adarvishi, S., Literature review on the management of diabetic foot ulcer. World J Diabetes, 2015, 6(1): p. 37-53. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4317316/ (accessed 8/12/2016)
4 Wu, S., Driver, V., Wrobel J., and Armstrong D., Foot Ulcers in the Diabetic Patient, Prevention and Treatment. Vascular Health Risk Management. 2007 Feb; 3(1): 65-76. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1994045/ (accessed 2/24/2017)
5 Boulton AJ, Kirsner RS, Vileikyte L. Clinical practice. Neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers. N Engl J Med. 2004;351:48-55. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMcp032966 (accessed 2/24/2017)
6 Margolis, D.J., Allen-Taylor, L., Hoffstad, O., Berlin, J.A., Diabetic Neuropathic Foot Ulcers. Diabetes Care, 2002, 25(10): p. 1835-1839. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/diacare/25/10/1835.full.pdf (accessed 8/4/2016)
7 Hinchliffe, R.J., Andros, G., Apelqvist, J., Bakker, K., Fiedrichs, S., Lammer J., Lepantalo, M., Mills, J.L., Reekers, J., Shearman, C.P., A systematic review of the effectiveness of revascularization of the ulcerated foot in patients with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. Diabetes/Metabolism Research Reviews, 2012, 28(Suppl. 1): p. 179-217. http://lup.lub.lu.se/record/2348733 (accessed 8/12/2016)
Sergei Sobolevsky, MD, is a leading specialist in endovascular medicine with experience in vascular and interventional radiology. Dr. Sobolevsky has decades of experience in the field, with over 25,000 procedures performed, accumulating extensive experience in image-guided minimally invasive medicine, diagnosing and treating a range of conditions.
Dr. Sobolevsky earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in 1997 from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He received his specialty clinical training in vascular and interventional radiology at Harvard University. Later, he earned his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Recognized as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor and named to the Top Doctors New York Metro Area in 2020, 2021, and 2022, Dr. Sobolevsky is licensed in multiple states, has delivered presentations at numerous institutions in the US and abroad, and now acts as a clinical advisor for the biomedical industry. He also held multiple positions in the field during his career, including Chief of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY, Senior Vice President in Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Artann Laboratories in North Brunswick, NJ, and Medical Director at the American Endovascular and Amputation Prevention Center in Brooklyn.More About Dr. Sobolevsky
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