In the United Kingdom around 100 amputations a week are performed as a result of diabetes.

People suffering from diabetes are reported to be 15 times more at risk of an amputation than people without diabetes.

50% of all amputations occur in people who have diabetes.

The majority of these amputations are preceded by foot ulcers. Only two-thirds of ulcers will eventually heal and the remainder may result in some form of amputation. Both ulcers and amputations have an enormous impact on people’s lives, often leading to reduced independence, social isolation and psychological stress. The diabetic foot is also a significant economic problem, particularly if amputation results in prolonged hospitalization, rehabilitation, and an increased need for home care and social services. (The International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF)

02: Overview of diabetic foot problems (NHS England)

Based on United Kingdom population surveys, diabetic foot problems are a common complication of diabetes with prevalences of;

  • 23-42% for neuropathy
  • 9-23% for vascular disease
  • 5-7% for foot ulceration

Boulton AJ, Vileikyte L, Ragnarson-Tennvall G, Apelqvist J. The global burden of diabetic foot disease. Lancet. 2005 Nov 12;366(9498):1719-24.

Amputation rates are higher in patients with diabetes than patients without diabetes.

Patients with diabetes are at increased risk of developing Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), especially when other associated risk factors are present, for example smoking, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia. Diabetic foot ulceration is principally associated with PAD and peripheral neuropathy, often in combination. Other factors associated with increased risk include;

  • Previous amputation
  • Previous ulceration
  • The presence of significant callus
  • The presence of significant structural abnormality
  • Visual/Mobility problems