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Prevention

In this section we explore the most common causes of amputation. Most amputations are preventable! This page could also help you learn practical skills to manage your health and, where possible, prevent amputations.

Prevention

In this section we explore the most common causes of amputation. Most amputations are preventable! This page could also help you learn practical skills to manage your health and, where possible, prevent amputations.

Diabetes

Diabetes is responsible for 20 amputations a day in the UK alone (Diabetes UK, 2016*). However, complications due to diabetes are mostly preventable through routine foot care. Poorly managed diabetes is one of the leading causes of lower limb amputation.

Self Help

Find information and practical tips to improve and maintain the health of your feet and prevent complication which may lead to amputation.

Services relating to Diabetes (Oxfordshire)

Access this page to find what professionals and services you are likely to come into contact with and how they could help you to live a healthy life with diabetes.

For more information, please visit: www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-and-amputation.html


Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) also known as Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a growing cause of amputations and it is responsible for approximately 2 amputations per day in the UK.

PAD is a type of vascular disease that is caused by narrowing of the arteries. This is due to build-up of fatty deposits of the arterial walls. Smoking, diabetes (type 1 and type 2), high blood pressure and high cholesterol are the main things that can increase your risk of developing PAD.

For more information, please visit: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/medical/peripheral-arterial-disease


Cancer

Cancer accounts for less than 2% of all amputations in the UK (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2017**). Amputation may be necessary as part of the treatment for cancer for various reasons - Such as:

  • ● if the cancerous cells have spread into the surrounding blood vessels
  • ● if an infection has developed in the bone and persists despite treatment
  • ● if the cancer cells return after treatment
  • ● if through limb salvage surgery it is not possible for all cancerous cells

For more information, please visit: www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/bone-cancer/treatment/surgery/surgery-remove-limb-amputation.


Sepsis

Sepsis is a preventable blood infection that can lead to multiple organ failure and ultimately death. Without blood and oxygen reaching them, the skin and tissues begin to die, leading to skin damage and potentially loss of toes, fingers or limbs.

See our page on Sepsis which contains information about what sepsis is, the signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for, and how it can lead to amputation.

For more information, please visit: www.sepsis.org/life-after-sepsis/amputations.


*Diabetes UK. (2016): Twenty devastating amputations every day. Available: www.diabetes.org.uk/About_us/News/Twenty-devastating-amputations-every-day/
Last accessed 2 February, 2017

**MacMillan Cancer Support. (2017). Amputation As A Treatment For Soft Tissue Sarcomas. Available: www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/soft-tissue-sarcomas/treating/surgery/surgery-explained/amputation.html
Last accessed 17 February, 2017.