Diabetic foot amputation statistics

Oct 01, 2023

Understanding Diabetic Foot Amputations

Diabetes is a prevalent health condition globally, affecting millions of people. One of the severe complications that can arise from uncontrolled or poorly managed diabetes is the risk of foot amputations. This article delves into the statistics surrounding diabetic foot amputations, highlighting the need for adequate diabetes management and foot care.

diabetic foot neuropathy ulcer
Diabetic Amputation due to Chronic Neuropathic Ulceration

The Prevalence of Diabetic Foot Amputations

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), every year in the United States, more than 65,000 lower limb amputations are performed due to complications from diabetes. This number is alarmingly high, considering that most of these amputations can be prevented with proper diabetes management and foot care.

Who is at Risk?

While all individuals with diabetes are at risk of foot complications that could lead to amputations, certain factors significantly increase this risk. These include poor blood glucose control, nerve damage, peripheral vascular disease, a history of foot ulcers, and smoking. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people with diabetes are 15 to 40 times more likely to require lower limb amputations compared to those without the disease.

diabetes risk factors
Diabetic Ulcer at Back of Inner Ankle

Geographical Differences

There are also notable geographical differences when it comes to diabetic foot amputations. For instance, the rate of amputations is significantly higher in developing countries due to inadequate access to diabetes care and education. According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, low-income countries have amputation rates as high as 4.1 per 1,000 people with diabetes per year.

Age and Gender Differences

Age and gender also play a role in the prevalence of diabetic foot amputations. Older individuals, particularly those aged 65 and above, are at a higher risk due to the accumulation of complications over time. Men with diabetes are also more likely to undergo amputations compared to women, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

diabetic foot care
Diabetes with History of Lesser toe Amputations

The Importance of Prevention

While the statistics surrounding diabetic foot amputations are alarming, it's crucial to note that most of these amputations are preventable. Regular foot examinations, maintaining good blood glucose control, wearing appropriate footwear, and early detection and treatment of foot ulcers can significantly reduce the risk of amputation.


Diabetic foot amputations are a significant global health issue, particularly among people with poorly controlled diabetes and those in low-income countries. However, with proper diabetes management and foot care, the risk of amputation can be significantly reduced. Therefore, it's crucial for individuals with diabetes to be aware of the risks and take proactive steps towards prevention.