One question I was asked recently is was... What are the statistics on life expectancy after diabetes leg amputation from gangrene?
Well, I wish I had good news. Whenever a loved one gets gangrene, it can be traumatic. Not just for the diabetic who winds up with an amputation, but the spouse as well. The kids, the whole family take a beating emotionally. They see the foot turn black, they smell the foul odor. They watch their loved one go from a lively person to someone who will be luckey to ever walk with a prosthetic leg.
Dancing on your 50th wedding anniversary..nope. Going for 18 holes of golf..nope. Running down the street to teach your grandson to fly a kite...nope. So the patient sees all these things that were taken for granted, drifting away. And the family sees it too. Then they start to wonder about the bigger picture. How long can you live after an amputation?
The statistics regarding diabetic life expectancy after an amputation related to diabetes complications (such as gangrene, diabetic foot infections, and bone infections (osteomyelitis)) are quite bad. Every 30 seconds a limb somewhere is amputated as a consequence of diabetes.
In fact, we know that diabetes makes you 46 times more likely you will have an amputation. Within one year after a diabetic foot amputation, 26.7% will have another amputation. Three years after the first diabetic amputation, 48.3% will have another amputation. Within 5 years of a diabetes related amputation, 60.7% will have another amputation.
If that isn't bad enough, diabetics with amputations don’t live very long. We know that about 50% of all diabetics with an amputation are dead 3 years after the amputation.
65% of all of those with a diabetic amputation are dead 5 years.
In spite of this, there is hope... most are preventable. Watch your blood sugar. Check your feet every day and see a podiatrist, podiatric surgeon, or foot surgeon specializing in diabetic limb salvage if you start to get any open sore or wounds on your feet. Do not wait until it is infected.
With these simple interventions you can keep your feet. And maybe you will dancing on your 50th after all.
Dr. Christopher Segler is an award winning diabetic foot surgeon, author and inventor. He is the founder of a groundbreaking private consulting firm that specializes in diabetic amputation prevention. If you or someone you care about has diabetes, you can learn more by simply requesting your FREE report “No Leg Left To Stand On: The Secrets Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know About Diabetic Foot Amputation” at http://www.ineedmyfeet.com.