Diabetic amputation can be necessary when diabetes is not controlled well. This condition is often times the result of diabetic neuropathy, which occurs when the diabetes is not controlled well and it starts affecting the peripheral nervous system. It is important to understand diabetes mellitus in order to understand diabetic neuropathy amputation.

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic condition that occurs when the body is unable to absorb and metabolize blood glucose efficiently due to problems with the production or absorption of the insulin hormone. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. When the pancreas is unable to produce a sufficient amount of insulin, type 1 diabetes occurs. If the fat and muscle cells become resistant to insulin, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed.

If diabetes goes untreated or is not controlled well, it can lead to problems with all of the body processes, including the nervous system. If diabetic neuropathy occurs, it is likely that diabetic amputation will follow if the condition is not controlled.


Diabetic Toe Amputation


Neuropathy causes the tissues in the body to die. When the tissue dies, it becomes necessary to remove it. Dead tissue can lead to more dead tissue if it is not removed. Since neuropathy causes numbness and poor circulation to the limbs, the feet are usually the first areas to be affected.

If you have neuropathy, it is extremely important to check your hands and feet for sores each and every day. If you develop a sore, it will be difficult for it to heal if you suffer from neuropathy. This can lead to diabetic toe amputation, diabetic foot amputation, or even diabetic leg amputation.


Diabetic Foot Amputation Statistics


According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetic amputation statistics include these facts:

  • Over 60% of lower limb amputations unrelated to trauma happen in people with diabetes complications, such as diabetic neuropathy
  • Over 65,000 lower limb amputations were necessary for patients with uncontrolled diabetes in 2006
  • Over $174 billion was spent in 2007 for costs directly related to diabetes
  • Over 60% of people with diabetes have at least mild neuropathy (nervous system damage)


According to Diabetes Amputation Prevention, diabetic amputation life expectancy is not good. The fact is that 50% of people who have had an amputation related to diabetes die within 3 years of the amputation. Of the 50% who live more than 3 years, 65% of them will die within 5 years of the amputation.

We realize that these statistics are frightening if you or somebody you love has been diagnosed with diabetes. The good news is that most of these complications are preventable. Make sure that you are monitoring your blood sugar regularly, and that you are keeping your numbers within normal limits. Check your feet every day and notify your diabetic podiatrist if you notice even the smallest cut or sore. In the case of diabetic amputation, prevention is the best medicine.