Of all the lower extremity amputations carried out worldwide, 40%-70% are related to diabetes. In people with the condition, ulceration is provoked by diabetesinduced nerve damage, reduced mobility due to alterations in the functioning of joints in the foot, and disorders in the blood vessels that supply the legs and feet (peripheral vascular disease). When a person’s ulcerated foot becomes infected or when the blood supply is severely impaired, amputation of the foot – or even the leg – may not be preventable. People with diabetes who have suffered an amputation are at an increased risk to develop further ulceration. Recurring ulceration may fail to heal and result in the need for further amputation. However, amputations can be prevented in between 49%-85% of cases. William van Houtum reports on the importance of continued or intensified foot care after an amputation.
amputation, diabetic foot, ulcer, IWGDF, International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot, peripheral vascular disease, footwear, orthosis, prosthesis