Lower limb amputations, and specifically amputations associated with diabetes, have been on the rise in the United States for several years. These include both minor and major amputations. The rates of amputation have particularly increased among people ages 18-44 and 45-64, and are more common in men than in women. Many risks are associated with amputation, including permanent disability and death. When it comes to lower limb care, focus should be on preserving the limbs. Patients who regularly see a podiatrist, even if they have severe lower limb complications, have a decreased chance of amputation. Podiatrists can provide preventive care and treatments to manage various lower extremity problems, with the goal of preserving the limb and your quality of life. If you are diabetic or experience any foot or ankle problems, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist near you.
Limb salvage can be an effective way in preventing the need for limb amputation. If you have diabetes, cancer, or any other condition that could lead to foot amputation if left unchecked, consult with Dr. Kennedy Legel from Advanced Foot & Ankle Care Specialists. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
What Is Limb Salvage?
Limb salvage is the attempt of saving a limb, such as the foot from amputation. Podiatrists also try to make sure that there is enough function in the foot after the salvage that it is still usable. Diabetes is the number one cause of non-traumatic amputations in the United States. Those with diabetes experience poor blood circulation, which prevents proper healing of an ulcer. If the ulcer is left uncheck, it could become infected, which could result in the need for amputation.
However, there are other causes as well, such as cancer and traumatic injury. Links between higher mortality rates and amputation have been found. This translates into higher healthcare costs, and a reduced quality of life and mobility for amputees. Podiatrists have attempted to increase the prevalence of limb salvage in an attempt to solve these issues.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Limb salvage teams have grown in recent years that utilize a number of different treatments to save the infected limb. This includes podiatrists that specialize in wound care, rehabilitation, orthotics, and surgery. Through a combination of these methods, limb salvage has been found to be an effective treatment for infected limbs, and as an alternative to amputation. Podiatrists will first evaluate the potential for limb salvage and determine if the limb can be saved or must be amputated.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Dallas, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.