There are some surprising statistics about how common diabetic foot ulcers are, how often they can lead to amputation and the ultimate cost of having a foot ulcer that results in an amputation.
1. A foot ulcer is the initial event in more than 85% of major amputations that are performed on people with diabetes.
2. In the United States, every year about 73,000 amputations of the lower limb not related to trauma are performed on people with diabetes.
3. Of non-traumatic amputations in the United States, 60% are performed on people with diabetes.
4. Throughout the world, it’s estimated that every 30 seconds one leg is amputated due to diabetes.
5. 10% of people with diabetes have a foot ulcer.
6. The lifetime risk of developing a foot ulcer for someone with diabetes is 25%.
7. Every year, about 1-4% of people with diabetes develop a new foot ulcer.
8. Between 10-15% of diabetic foot ulcers do not heal.
9. Of diabetic foot ulcers that do not heal, 25% will require amputation.
10. In one study, research showed that following an amputation, up to 50% of people with diabetes will die within 2 years.
11. In the United States, the cost to care for diabetic foot ulcers is about $11 billion per year.
12. Approximately 20% of hospital admissions in people with diabetes are due to foot ulcers.
13. After a lower limb amputation someone with diabetes remains in the hospital an average of 9-12 days.
Risk Factors for Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Diabetic foot ulcers are preventable. There are certain conditions that increase the chance an ulcer will develop as well as if it can be healed.
14. Diabetic neuropathy alone causes between 45-60% of diabetic foot ulcers.
15. PAD and neuropathy are involved in approximately 45% of diabetic foot ulcers.
16. Men with diabetes over the age of 60 are more likely to develop foot ulcers.
17. Waiting to be seen by a doctor for a diabetic foot ulcer for longer than 6 weeks can increase the likelihood that the ulcer will result in an amputation.
18. The risk for amputation may be decreased by up to 75% if a team specializing in the care of diabetic foot ulcers is involved. This team may consist of specialists in wound care, diabetes podiatry, infectious disease, and a vascular specialist.
19. Up to 50% of diabetic foot ulcer cases can be prevented with appropriate education focused on teaching people with diabetes how to care for their feet.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Infection
Infection is one of the leading causes of amputation due to diabetes-related foot ulcers.
20. An ulcer present for more than 30 days is more likely to become infected.
21. Osteomyelitis, which is an infection in the bone, is seen in 15% of people with diabetic foot ulcers.
options you can look into, including procedures such as, atherectomy or angioplasty and stenting.
Diabetic foot ulcers are serious and can lead to amputation. If you have diabetes and you still haven’t shown your foot ulcer to your doctor, please do so.
© Neighborhood Neuropathy Center of Reno