Diabetes is Leading Cause of Lower Limb Amputations

April 2, 2018

An estimated 30.3 million people in the US, or 9.4 percent of the population, have diabetes. Of that 30.3 million, nearly 24 percent are undiagnosed. 

The Wound Care Center at Wythe County Community Hospital, a member of the Healogics network, is recognizing Limb Loss Awareness Month during the month of April. People diagnosed with diabetes can also experience co-existing conditions such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputation. Diabetes related amputations are associated with chronic wounds caused by diabetes, especially diabetic foot ulcers. People with an amputation have a 50 percent mortality rate within five years.

Our Wound Care Center offers advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds related to diabetes. People with diabetes should wear proper footwear, inspect their feet daily and take extra care when trimming nails and treating cuts, scrapes and blisters. If a wound does not heal or shows sign of infection, seek medical treatment. These precautions can help prevent diabetes-related amputations in the future.

“Diabetics experience neuropathy, or loss of sensation in their feet. If a patient with neuropathy were to step on glass or a rock, causing an injury to the foot, a wound can develop without the patient’s knowledge. The risk of infection can lead to amputation,” said Nancy Marshall, Nurse Practitioner and provider at the Wound Care Center. “Our hope is that we are able to see these patients before amputation is necessary, protecting limbs and quality of life.”

Contact Wythe Wound & Hyperbaric Medicine Center to learn more about diabetes-related wounds or if you have a wound that will not heal. To schedule an appointment, please call 276-625-8870 or visit WCCHcares.com.