Amputation is the removal of a limb by trauma, medical illness, or surgery. As a surgical measure, it is used to control pain or a disease process in the affected limb, such as malignancy or gangrene.
Diabetic neuropathy develops in 60 to 70% of people with diabetes. Risk of neuropathy and amputation increases with advanced age, being overweight, and duration of diabetes with highest rates among those who have had diabetes for more than 25 years. Poor diabetes control, abnormal cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure also increase risk. The risk is significantly increased with smoking.
Diabetic foot ulcers are a common cause of amputation due to diabetes. In diabetic patients, numbness in the feet due to diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) makes them less aware of injuries and foot ulcers. These ulcers sometimes fail to heal, which in turn leads to serious infections.
Uncontrolled diabetes can cause damage to nerves and reduce sensation. Injuries (even small ones) can develop without notice or pain and develop into ulcers, infections, and cause tissue death (gangrene). Normally a person with an injury on the bottom of their foot, such as a blister, will change the way they walk. Your gait will alter because you are going to protect that blistered spot until it heals up.
People with a loss of sensation don’t do that. They will just walk right on top of that blister as though it wasn’t there. It can burst, become infected, and turn into foot ulcer. That ulceration can go right down to the bone and become an avenue for infection into the whole foot. That’s what leads to amputations.
Loss of a limb is a tragic event and in certain situations, amputation seems to be unavoidable. Today numbers of people have experienced limb loss for one reason or the other, as a result of this; their lives have gone through a total change.
Meanwhile, amputation itself is a change in body structure, but has a great influence on many activities, participation in activities and quality of life. The patient may experience depression, anxiety, social discomfort, and body-image anxiety.
As a result of amputation, lifestyles are forced to be changed; source of living is partially or badly affected. In other words, amputation goes a long way to affect people psychologically, socially and economically. There are many factors that have been investigated in moderating a person’s psychological adjustment to losing a limb including patient demographics such as age, gender and level of education.
Even after amputation, it’s important to follow your diabetes treatment plan. People who’ve had one amputation have a higher risk of having another. Eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, controlling your blood sugar level and avoiding tobacco can help you prevent additional diabetes complications.