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15 Statistics Everyone Should Know about Diabetic Foot and Leg Amputations

diabetic amputation statistics

If you’ve never taken a look at diabetic amputation statistics, now may be the time. According to the CDC, approximately 13 percent of adults in the United States live with diabetes, and another 2.8 percent of adults live with undiagnosed diabetes. This amounts to roughly 15 percent or  41.5 million adults who could benefit from being aware of diabetic amputation statistics. If you are one of these people, try not to let the diabetic amputee statistics discourage you. There’s a lot you can do to prevent diabetes complications that could put your limbs at risk of gangrene and amputation. 

A key part of this prevention work is making sure you are aware of peripheral artery disease (PAD) and the role it plays in diabetic amputation statistics. PAD and diabetes are inextricably linked: diabetes affects your body’s ability to control blood sugar levels and is characterized by high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance. These factors can damage the arteries, leading to an increased opportunity for plaque to build up on artery walls.

Are you worried that you may have PAD? Do you know its symptoms?  At USA Vascular Centers, our skilled vascular doctors and surgeons are experts in diagnosing and treating peripheral artery disease. They’re also empathetic and caring, and they’ll work to help you avoid joining the ranks of diabetic amputation statistics.

You’ll be in the best hands when you visit any of our 40+ locations throughout the United States. Schedule an appointment today to learn more about PAD treatment and how you can prevent your health from becoming a diabetic amputation statistic.


15 PAD and Diabetic Amputation Statistics 

 Every year in the United States, about 73,000 amputations of the lower limb not related to trauma are performed on people with diabetes.

Here’s a list of 15 PAD and diabetic amputation statistics you should know, whether you have diabetes already or suspect you may have diabetes and PAD.

  1. More than 80% of diabetic amputations begin with foot ulcers.
  2. Approximately 15% of diabetes patients with diabetes also have a foot ulcer.
  3. Of these 15%, about 6% will be hospitalized due to foot ulcer complications.
  4. Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-limb amputation in the United States.
  5. Peripheral artery disease affects between 8 and 10 million people in the United States alone.
  6. Among these patients, 11% will develop critical limb ischemia (CLI), a condition marked by severe limb pain at rest, non-healing wounds, and gangrene.
  7. 25% of patients with critical limb ischemia will require life-saving amputation of a limb within a year of CLI diagnosis.
  8. Approximately 20% of amputee patients will be deceased within a year after their PAD or diabetes-related minor lower extremity amputation, and about 44.1% will be deceased in the 5 years after minor lower extremity amputation.
  9. The survival rate following a major lower extremity amputation is only about 40% within 5 years, meaning the death rate is around 60%.
  10. Only about 37% of patients regain pre-amputation mobility following an amputation.
  11. Around 75% of diabetic foot ulcers may be preventable.
  12. Increased awareness of PAD may help lower the rate of PAD and diabetes-related ulcers. 
  13. Primary care physicians may have only a 50% awareness of a patient’s past history with PAD.
  14. Only about 26% of people 50 years of age or older are aware that PAD exists.
  15. Only roughly 30% of patients with diabetes regularly receive regular foot care to monitor for foot ulcers.

Even though many of these diabetic amputation statistics are alarming, raising awareness of PAD and diabetic amputation statistics can go a long way toward preventing foot ulcers and amputation. Recognizing the early warning signs of restricted blood flow to the lower extremities is key to helping prevent diabetes and PAD amputation statistics

Risk Factors for Developing Foot Ulcers

Foot ulcers greatly increase the risk of amputation, so paying attention to ulcers can help lower diabetic amputation statistics. Understanding risk factors is a good place to start. Peripheral artery disease, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, high blood glucose levels, long-term history of diabetes (10+ years), hypertension, and nerve damage and loss of feeling in the legs and feet (diabetic neuropathy) are all risk factors for developing foot ulcers. 

Diabetic neuropathy in particular can affect your sense of pain, which means you may have a foot ulcer and not even realize it. Routinely examining your feet can help you catch these ulcers early, helping you avoid diabetic amputation statistics.

In addition, if you’ve had diabetic foot ulcers previously or are over the age of 40, you are at an increased risk for developing these ulcers. Knowing these risk factors can help you keep an eye on your feet and overall health, helping you avoid those diabetic amputee statistics.

Several risk factors for developing diabetic foot ulcers overlap with those for getting PAD foot ulcers and potentially joining PAD amputation statistics: diabetes, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and being over the age of 60 can all put you at risk of PAD ulcers, which can then lead to amputation if left untreated.

How to Improve Circulation in Legs and Avoid Amputation

To improve circulation in the legs, start by making lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, starting an exercise program, practicing daily foot care, managing your diabetes, and taking medication to lower blood sugar, high blood pressure, or cholesterol. These actions can help you avoid those daunting diabetic amputation statistics.

If you have any early signs of PAD, including numbness or tingling in lower extremities, coldness in your legs or feet, a change in skin color, puffiness in the lower legs (lower extremity edema), and slowed hair or toenail growth, see a vascular doctor right away. Advanced signs of PAD, such as leg pain while exercising, slow-healing wounds, or foot ulcers require even more urgent care from a vascular doctor. 

One of the most effective ways to prevent or treat PAD and diabetic foot ulcers is to improve circulation in the legs. At USA Vascular Centers, our vascular doctors can perform three minimally-invasive procedures to treat PAD and foot ulcers: 

  • Angioplasty: uses a balloon-tipped catheter to compress the plaque against artery walls
  • Stent placement: puts a mesh stent into the artery to keep it propped open
  • Atherectomy: cuts plaque into small pieces with a laser or blade before safely removing it from the body

Your doctor at USA Vascular Centers will sit down with you to discuss PAD amputation statistics, diabetic amputation statistics, and which minimally-invasive procedure could benefit you the most. 

Schedule a Consultation with USA Vascular Centers 

At USA Vascular Centers, our goal is to raise awareness of PAD and help patients avoid the more serious complications of the condition. We’d also love to help keep diabetic amputee statistics from getting worse—or even better, make those diabetic amputee statistics get lower. How wonderful would it be if we could lower diabetic amputation statistics in the next five to ten years? 

In short, we want to help you get back to doing the things you love. Our state-of-the-art outpatient centers are accredited by the AAAHC, which means we adhere to the highest standards for quality care. Through our accreditation, we also qualify for Medicare and Medicaid. 

In addition to offering care at more than 40 locations in the United States, we also offer lodging options for patients from out of town. We encourage you to help tackle those daunting diabetic amputation statistics and PAD amputation statistics and schedule a consultation or call us at 888.773.2193 today.



Sources Cited: 

  1. Thiruvoipati, Thejasvi, Caitlin E Kielhorn, and Ehrin J Armstrong. “Peripheral Artery Disease in Patients with Diabetes: Epidemiology, Mechanisms, and Outcomes.” World journal of diabetes. Baishideng Publishing Group Inc, July 10, 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499529/ 
  2. “Avoiding Amputation: Jump Feet First into Diabetes Foot Care.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, September 23, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/amputation-and-diabetes/art-20048262
  3. “Frequently Asked Questions: Diabetic Foot Ulcers.” Frequently Asked Questions: Diabetic Foot Ulcers | Michigan Medicine. Accessed June 16, 2022. https://www.uofmhealth.org/conditions-treatments/podiatry-foot-care/frequently-asked-questions-diabetic-foot-ulcers. 
  4. Harding JL, et al. “National and State-Level Trends in Nontraumatic Lower-Extremity Amputation among U.S. Medicare Beneficiaries with Diabetes, 2000-2017.” Diabetes care. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Accessed June 16, 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32723844/
  5. Creager, Mark A., et al. “Reducing Nontraumatic Lower-Extremity Amputations by 20% by 2030: Time to Get to Our Feet: A Policy Statement from the American Heart Association.” Circulation, March 25, 2021. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000967
  6. “A Meta-Analysis of Mortality after Minor Amputation among Patients with…” Accessed June 16, 2022. https://www.jvascsurg.org/article/S0741-5214(20)31876-0/fulltext
  7. Huang, Yu-Yao, et al. “Survival and Associated Risk Factors in Patients with Diabetes and Amputations Caused by Infectious Foot Gangrene.” Journal of foot and ankle research. BioMed Central, January 4, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5755273/
  8. “A Shift in Priority in Diabetic Foot Care and … – Wiley Online Library.” Accessed June 16, 2022. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/dmrr.2738
  9. “Risk Factors for Diabetic Foot Ulcers.” Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care, March 29, 2021. https://www.cfac.net/2021/03/26/risk-factors-for-diabetic-foot-ulcers/.

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