Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputation. Even though diabetes is on the rise in the U.S. and worldwide, recent data has shown that the number of leg and foot amputations as a consequence of diabetes has decreased significantly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from 1996 to 2008 and found that the number of diabetics who had undergone a foot or leg amputation had dropped 65% in that time frame. This encouraging statistic could be a reflection of increased preventative care among diabetics, including regular foot exams. Other factors thought to play a role include improvement in the medical management of diabetes, which effectively reduced complications that would increase the risk of limb loss, such as nerve damage and cardiovascular disease. Source: Medical Daily. "Diabetes Amputations Drop Dramatically".
Regular preventative care and screenings have been proven to reduce the risk of diabetic complications. Routine foot exams by a podiatrist can help identify limb-threatening problems, such as loss of feeling in the feet or a diabetic wound. Often, a diabetic can develop problems like these without being aware of them.
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