Shaw's Prosthetics Plus News

Friday, August 31, 2012

What is the most common reason for amputations?

Many people have asked us why a majority of amputee patients end up with amputations. We have seen that the main cause of this unfortunate situation is due to diabetes

We have witnessed this disease slowly work its way up a lower extremity. The middle aged person may first see the loss of one or two toes. As the disease progresses they could then receive an amputation across the mid-foot. Later in life the mid-foot amputation may have to be revised to an amputation at the ankle.

Healing is the biggest problem and many times other health issues that were created by the diabetes complicate things further. Once the amputation is done at the ankle some patients may be fine and won’t have to receive any further surgical amputations. Others could have the amputation done higher, either at the mid-shin, through the knee or above the knee. Many studies also suggest that once a person is amputated, the opposite side will be at risk within only a few years after the first amputation.

But do not despair, since 1996 the amputations due to reasons associated to diabetes have dropped. One main reason for this drop is the ability for those aging patients covered by Medicare can now qualify for diabetic footwear and protective inserts. The Therapeutic Shoe Bill is helping to reduce the risks of ulcers, blisters and many other perils of the foot for diabetic patients.