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Is amputation still the most common approach to treating foot wounds? [Dr. Rundback]

Q: Is amputation still the most common approach to treating foot wounds?

A: Diabetic foot ulcers are an extraordinarily common problem. There are almost 300 amputations per year in the United States, and many of these stem from underlying diabetes. However, 80% of those cases have underlying poor circulation, which most of the time goes undiagnosed. More than half of diabetics who end up with major amputation never even get an evaluation to see if their circulation was a cause for the diabetic amputation.

Amputation is overused. But we can stop it. 

Q: What is the underlying cause of foot wounds?

A: Up to 80% of patients who have diabetic foot wounds that don’t heal have underlying poor circulation. This often goes unrecognized unless you see a dedicated vascular specialist who treats patients with diabetic foot ulcers and Critical Limb Ischemia, which is the worst form of blood clotting in the foot. Specialists, such as myself, can identify this disease properly and make sure you get the best treatment.

Currently, more than 50% of patients who present with a diabetic foot wound, which progresses to gangrene, will have their leg amputated. Specialists who focus on treating those very, very small blocked arteries in a leg and foot can prevent amputation up to 90% of the time. It’s critically important for the patient to see a podiatrist who understands this, and works with a vascular specialist who treats patients with diabetic foot ulcers, so we may identify and treat the problem appropriately.

More videos from the interview with Dr. Rundback of the West Orange, NJ Endovascular Center as he outlines how patients with diabetes can prevent Peripheral Arterial Disease, ulceration, and amputation.

Request a consultation at your nearest American Endovascular center today.