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How Long Can I Expect To Live After Amputation From Diabetes?

The Cruel Cost Of Ignoring Diabetes: Jane Lost An Arm And Two Legs To The Disease Because, Like So Many, She Didn't Take It Seriously

The Cruel Cost Of Ignoring Diabetes: Jane Lost An Arm And Two Legs To The Disease Because, Like So Many, She Didn't Take It Seriously

Six years ago, Jane Knight was just another of Britain's army of multi-tasking women: a devoted wife and mother who frantically balanced looking after her family, including an autistic son, with her work as a complimentary therapist. But today, the 47 year-old is a triple amputee, having undergone operations to remove both her legs and one arm. She faces the prospect of losing her remaining arm in the near future. The cause of such devastating physical disability is not an horrific accident or advanced cancer but a condition that affects more than three million of us: diabetes. Furthermore, as Jane acknowledges, her situation could have been avoided had she done more to keep her blood sugar levels under control. Her story is a harrowing reality check to those who fail to understand how uncontrolled diabetes can cause wide-ranging health complications ranging from loss of sight, damaged kidneys, heart problems and even amputation. 'Diabetes is a condition that has to be respected otherwise the implications are horrendous,' she says. 'It was only when I became pregnant with my son, almost 20 years after first being diagnosed, that I realised how vital it is to keep the condition under strict control. Unfortunately by then the damage had started. 'I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. I just want people to learn from my situation. When I hear of teenagers skipping diabetic clinics or adults who think that because they feel all right they can just ignore their condition, I want to scream in frustration. I want them to shout: "Look at me and see what diabetes can do. Is this what you want?"' Alarmingly, Jane's situation is not unique. It's thought that there are around a million people with undiagnosed diabetes ignoring warning signs such as wounds that fail to heal and Continue reading >>

What To Expect: The Months After Amputation Surgery

What To Expect: The Months After Amputation Surgery

Your recovery will progress in stages. This sheet tells you what to expect during each stage. Keep in mind that not everyone follows this exact timeline. Your progress depends on your overall health, your diagnosis, and age. The 5 basic stages are: Recovering in the hospital Preparing for your prosthesis Getting fitted for your prosthesis Learning to use your prosthesis Returning to routine activities Recovering in the hospital After surgery, you'll stay in the hospital about 3 to 7 days. Older people or people with other health problems may stay longer. During this stage, the main goals are: Pain control Taking care of your wound as it heals Stretching and strengthening your muscles Learning to transfer safely between your bed and other surfaces Learning to use walking aids as needed Learning to manage daily living skills Preparing for a prosthesis at home After you arrive home, you may begin to prepare for your prosthesis fitting. This stage may take 3 to 4 weeks. During this stage, the main goals are: Taking care of your wound (with sutures or staples still in) Keeping your residual limb straight as often as you can Continuing exercises learned in the hospital Moving safely at all times to prevent falls Keeping all follow-up appointments Getting fitted for a prosthesis Once your wound has healed, your first visit to the prosthetist may take place. He or she will begin fitting you for a prosthesis. About 3 weeks after the first fitting, you'll receive a preparatory (sometimes called temporary) prosthesis. During this stage, the main goals are: Daily care of your residual limb Daily use of a shrinker sock Desensitization and scar massage Continued stretching and strengthening of muscles Learning to use a prosthesis You will use the preparatory prosthesis until your res Continue reading >>

5 Ways To Deal With Phantom Limb Pain After Amputation

5 Ways To Deal With Phantom Limb Pain After Amputation

Most people experience some pain after undergoing surgery. It’s part of the healing process and generally subsides as your tissues repair themselves. However, it’s not that simple if you are recovering from an amputation. After the initial post-surgical pain subsides, you may experience several types of sensations — some painful and unpleasant, others strange and disconcerting. Doctors can help amputation patients control these sensations early on to limit long-term problems with post-amputation pain. Amputation is sometimes necessary in cases of trauma — such as injuries from car accidents or military combat. Some medical conditions also progress to a point where amputation is necessary. People with vascular disease, diabetes, and even certain tumors may eventually need an amputation. Types of post-amputation sensations “After the initial surgical incision and deeper tissues have healed, many amputees report sensations associated with the removed limb,” says pain management specialist Robert Bolash, MD. “It’s important to differentiate between the types of sensations in order to understand and treat them.” Phantom sensation Sometimes a patient feels that a removed body part is still in place. “It can be an arm or a leg, but can even happen with breast cancer patients who have had a mastectomy,” says Dr. Bolash. “These women sometimes have a sensation that the breast is still there.” A person experiencing “telescoping” has the feeling their missing limb is still there, but that it has shrunk to a very small size, similar to a collapsed telescope. There’s no mention of pain with this common type of sensation, but it is unnerving. Most patients experience phantom sensations of some sort within six months of an amputation. Phantom pain Patie Continue reading >>

Recovery After Diabetes Foot Amputation

Recovery After Diabetes Foot Amputation

If you’re getting a foot amputation due to diabetes, you probably have a lot of questions, especially about what will happen after the operation. Some of the things you can count on in the days, weeks, and months after surgery: medicines to fight pain and infection, help and advice on caring for your leg, and rehab with your new, artificial foot. It’s natural to feel scared or worried, but you won’t be alone in your recovery. You’ll work with a care team including your surgeon, your diabetes doctor, experts in artificial limbs, physical therapists, and others. They’re going to help you heal from surgery and get back to the things you love as quickly as possible. After your surgery, you’ll go to a recovery room. There, someone will monitor your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing. When those vital signs return to normal, you’ll move to your hospital room, where you can expect: Medical care, such as changing wound dressings and medicine for pain Physical therapy, such as gentle stretching and special exercises Information about your prosthetic, or artificial foot If the hospital sends you home after a few days, you’re off to a good start. That means your care team thinks you’re healing well and can take the lead on caring for yourself. To continue your progress, follow all your doctor’s instructions on bathing, activity, physical therapy, and caring for your wound. If you feel pain, don’t reach for whatever’s in your medicine cabinet. Only take what your doctor recommends because some pain medicines, even basic aspirin, can raise your chances for bleeding. Call your surgeon if you have any new symptoms, such as redness, swelling, bleeding, pain that gets worse, or numbness or tingling in the rest of your leg. Any one of these signs may be normal, Continue reading >>

Amputation Of The Toe

Amputation Of The Toe

What is it? There is not enough blood getting into your toe to keep it alive. The lack of blood causes severe pain and allows serious infection to take hold. If left untreated, the toe will eventually get necrotic (go dead) and be life threatening. The only choice is to take off the toe. Sometimes the toe has shrivelled up and become a nuisance or more than one toe needs to come off. Sometimes the operation is done at the same time as an operation on the blood vessels. You will probably have a general anaesthetic and be asleep for the whole operation. Sometimes patients are numbed from the waist down with an injection in the back. If the latter takes place, you will be awake. You might feel that 'something is happening' in your toe, but you will not feel any pain from the waist down. Your toe is taken off. The surgeon may need to take off some of the skin from the foot near the toe to help it heal. Usually the skin can be stitched up over the wound after removing the toe. Sometimes it is better to let the wound heal up by itself without any stitches. This takes three or four weeks, but could be more. How long you stay in hospital depends very much on your general condition. Ideally you can go home after a day or so. Often patients find it more convenient to stay for a week or longer. If you leave things as they are, your toe will certainly get worse. Infection may spread to your other toes and foot. An operation to bypass or core out your leg arteries to improve the blood supply to the toe will not work in your case. Laser treatment and X-ray guided stretching of the arteries will not work for you. Injecting the nerve to your blood vessels will not work. Antibiotics are not enough by themselves. An alternative to a toe amputation is an amputation higher up. This may hel Continue reading >>

Ignore Warning Signs, Lose A Limb

Ignore Warning Signs, Lose A Limb

For eight years, Jeanne Houtz, who has a family history of diabetes, ignored all the symptoms — visual problems, weird sensations in her feet and blisters that would not heal. The San Diego woman was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 40, but she refused to take her medications or to lose weight. Houtz never realized she was in danger until the bones in her right foot collapsed, causing wounds that eventually led to infection. But attention to this insidious disease came too late, and it finally cost her a leg, which was amputated in 2005. "I know I am the worst person on the planet, acting like this," said Houtz, now 56. "My mom had it, everyone had it," she said. "When I was a young girl, I had an aunt who had it and she was told not to eat brownies. She would crave them and I thought, 'Why does she eat them?' I later realized it's an uncontrollable urge." Houtz is one of 20.8 million Americans who have been diagnosed with diabetes, a disease that is now epidemic and is linked with the increased prevalence of obesity in the United States, according to the National Diabetes Education Program Progress Report 2007. About 6.2 million Americans have the disease, but go undiagnosed. Diabetes Epidemic The total number of people with diabetes in the United States is projected to rise from 17.7 million in 2000 to 30.3 million in 2030, placing the United States third in global prevalence, second only to India and China, according to the report. About 66 percent of all adult Americans are overweight, a major risk factor for type 2 — or adult onset — diabetes. Left untreated or not managed well, the disease can lead to peripheral neuropathy, which can lead to foot deformities and eventually amputation. Today, Houtz listens to her doctor, though at 5 feet, 9 inches tall, Continue reading >>

Amputation

Amputation

Recovery After surgery, you will be transferred back to a ward. You will normally be given oxygen through a mask and nutrients and fluids through a drip for the first few days after surgery. Your amputation wound will be covered with a bandage or plaster dressing and a tube may be placed under the skin next to the wound to drain away any excess fluid from the site of the surgery. This will help prevent excessive bruising and swelling at the wound. It is usually recommended that the bandage remains in place for the first five days to reduce the risk of infection. A small flexible tube, known as an urinary catheter, may be placed in your bladder during your surgery to drain away urine. This means you will not need to worry about going to the toilet for the first few days after surgery. It is likely that you will experience considerable pain at the site of the operation, so painkillers will be supplied as required. Let your pain nurse know if the painkillers are not working as you may need a larger dose or a stronger type of painkiller. Preparing for discharge As you gradually recover from the effects of surgery, you will meet a number of different health professionals, such as a social worker, occupational therapist and physiotherapist, to help plan for your discharge. Your physiotherapist will also teach you a number of exercises to help prevent blood clots and improve blood supply. Compression shrinker sock You will notice swelling (oedema) of your stump after surgery, which is normal. This swelling can also continue once you have been discharged. Using a compression shrinker sock will help with swelling and the shape of the stump. It may also reduce phantom pain and give a feeling of support to the limb. Your physiotherapist will measure you for your sock once your wou Continue reading >>

Does Type 2 Diabetes Affect Life Expectancy? Live Longer By Spotting These Symptoms

Does Type 2 Diabetes Affect Life Expectancy? Live Longer By Spotting These Symptoms

If type 2 diabetes isn't treated properly and well managed, it can lead to a number of other health problems including heart disease. However, there is no way of knowing how long someone with the condition is expected to live. It depends how soon diabetes was diagnosed, any other health conditions unrelated to diabetes and factors including how often people attend health checks and look after their own health. Knowing the symptoms of diabetes can boost the chances of living longer. Diabetes UK said: “Early diagnosis, treatment and good control are vital for good health and reduce the chances of developing serious complications.” Symptoms include urinating more than usual, feeling thirst, feeling tired, cuts or wounds which heal slowly and blurred vision. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin produced does not work properly and can be linked to lifestyle factors such as being overweight. High glucose levels - also known as blood sugar can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs. If diabetes is not properly managed it can lead to serious consequences such as sight loss, limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke. Experts also suggest a mildly raised glucose level that doesn't cause any symptoms can also have long-term damaging effects. The condition can impact life expectancy, how experts have said the length of time people are expected to live with the condition has increased. Seven years ago, Diabetes UK estimated that the life expectancy of someone with type 2 diabetes is likely to be reduced, as a result of the condition, by up to 10 years. Wed, June 21, 2017 Living with diabetes - ten top tips to live normally with the condition. However, a report based on data collected by GP services in the UK between 1991 and 2014, Continue reading >>

How I Saved My Leg From Amputation

How I Saved My Leg From Amputation

By Carla Urff, Special to Everyday Health At the age of 11, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Saying I really did not understand how much impact it would have on my life is an understatement. Now, at the age of 53, let me share that impact with you. I have two beautiful children who have had to endure more than their share over the years. In March of this year I danced in heels with my 29-year-old son at his wedding (see us at left). Six years ago, I never dreamed that I would be walking, much less dancing. An Ant Bite That Wouldn't Heal My life drastically changed in 1998. I was bitten by an ant on the foot. When the wound had not healed after a few weeks, my doctor sent me to a podiatrist, who sent me to a vascular specialist. The vascular specialist told me it would heal, but that in 10 or 15 years I would probably be looking at an angioplasty with stents, whatever that meant. In time it worsened, and my left leg became affected too. I began having leg cramps when walking. Within two years my foot and leg had atrophied and begun turning purple, and they were cold as ice. I had very severe night pain. I returned to the same group of specialists and eventually got that angioplasty, eight years prematurely. The Threat of Gangrene and Leg Amputation Unfortunately, they informed me, I was too far gone: My foot had become pre-gangrenous, and there was nothing they could do. They told me I should prepare for amputation. This was just not acceptable to me. I was sure there had to be something someone could do. I had two small children, a husband and a job. How was I going to tell my children Mommy was going to have to cut her leg off? They were going to be so scared. I suffered immense pain, with many, many sleepless nights praying for God to please help me and spare me Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Amputation

Diabetes And Amputation

Tweet Diabetes, when present in the body over many years, can give rise to all sorts of complications. These include heart disease, kidney disease, retinopathy and neuropathy. If left untreated, some of these complications can become extremely damaging to the body. Diabetes is a leading cause of amputation The NHS reports that people who have diabetes are 15 times more likely to undergo amputations than other people without the condition. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of amputation of the lower limbs throughout the world. Charity Diabetes UK notes that problems of the foot are the most frequent reasons for hospitalisation amongst patients who have diabetes. Many hospital visits due to diabetes-related foot problems are preventable through simple foot care routines. All people who have diabetes should have foot check-ups as a part of their regular care routine. What factors lead to amputation? Several key factors usually predispose ulceration and ultimately amputation. These include: Circulation problems Other damage to the foot How are these factors assessed? Diabetic foot complications are more common amongst the elderly, and amputation rates do increase with age. For people over 75 years old, the risk does increase considerably. All people who have diabetes should have a basic education in foot care, and beyond this they should have regular foot examinations. The risk for the development of ulceration can be assessed by basic clinical examination of the foot. What are major and minor amputations? Amputations in general, not just diabetes-related amputations, are classed as major and minor. Minor amputation regards removal of toes or feet. Major amputation refers to the above or below the knee amputation. How should I identify a foot at risk from amputation? Lo Continue reading >>

The Choice Between Limb Salvage And Amputation: Major Limb Amputation For End-stage Peripheral Vascular Disease: Level Selection And Alternative Options

The Choice Between Limb Salvage And Amputation: Major Limb Amputation For End-stage Peripheral Vascular Disease: Level Selection And Alternative Options

Chapter 2C - Atlas of Limb Prosthetics: Surgical, Prosthetic, and Rehabilitation Principles Peter T. McCollum, B.A., M.B., B.Ch. Michael A. Walker, M.B., Ch.B., M.D.,M.Ch., F.R.C.S.I. F.R.C.S.Ed. Major amputations of the limbs are essentially disfiguring operations that carry a fairly high perioperative mortality and morbidity in elderly, debilitated patients suffering from critical limb ischemia (CLI). Estimated incidence rates of major amputations (Table 2C-1.) suggest that in the United Kingdom, as in other parts of Europe, the amputation rate is likely to be between 10 to 15 per 100,000 per year, up to half of whom may be considered unfit for referral to a limb-fitting service because of widespread chronic arterial disease. These figures, taken in conjunction with recent advances in both limb prosthetics and surgical techniques, highlight the need for further critical appraisal of available options open to all involved in the care of patients with a limb that may require amputation. Although trauma, tumor, and infection are significant disease entities that can require primary or secondary amputation, over 90% of all limb amputations in the Western world occur as a direct or indirect consequence of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and/or diabetes. This chapter seeks to explore the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by both the patient and medical team presented with such a problem and describes investigation and treatment options open to those faced with a decision whether to amputate a limb or to attempt some form of limb salvage procedure. LIMB SALVAGE OR PRIMARY AMPUTATION-GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS The presence of a chapter on alternative options to amputation in a book on amputation and prosthetics highlights the difficulties and importance of decisions confronting Continue reading >>

Leg Amputation Gangrene Diabetes Life Expectancy?

Leg Amputation Gangrene Diabetes Life Expectancy?

The statistics regarding diabetic life expectancy after an amputation related to diabetes complications such as gangrene, diabetic foot infections, and bone infections (osteomyelitis) 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. 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,. Dr. Christopher Segler is an award winning diabetic foot surgeon, author and inventor in Chattanooga Tennessee. 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 *** **edited by moderator** **web addresses are not allowed** Continue reading >>

How Type 2 Diabetes Affects Life Expectancy

How Type 2 Diabetes Affects Life Expectancy

Type 2 diabetes typically shows up later in life, although the incidence in younger people is increasing. The disease, which is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar), or hyperglycemia, usually results from a combination of unhealthy lifestyle habits, obesity, and genes. Over time, untreated hyperglycemia can lead to serious, life-threatening complications. Type 2 diabetes also puts you at risk for certain health conditions that can reduce your life expectancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is the 7th most common cause of death in the United States. However, there is no defining statistic to tell you how long you’ll live with type 2 diabetes. The better you have your diabetes under control, the lower your risk for developing associated conditions that may shorten your lifespan. The top cause of death for people with type 2 diabetes is cardiovascular disease. This is due to the fact that high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels, and also because people with type 2 diabetes often have high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and other factors that increase the risk of heart disease. When you have type 2 diabetes, there are many factors that can increase your risk of complications, and these complications can impact your life expectancy. They include: High blood sugar levels: Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels affect many organs and contribute to the development of complications. High blood pressure: According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 71 percent of people with diabetes have high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of kidney disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other complications. Lipid disorders: According to the ADA, 65 percent of those with diabetes have high low- Continue reading >>

Physical Therapist's Guide To Above-knee Amputation

Physical Therapist's Guide To Above-knee Amputation

What is Above-Knee Amputation? Above-knee amputation (AKA), or transfemoral amputation is a surgical procedure performed to remove the lower limb above the knee joint when that limb has been severely damaged or diseased. Most AKAs are performed due to peripheral vascular disease, or severe disease of the circulation in the lower limb. Poor circulation limits healing and immune responses to injury. Foot or leg ulcers may develop and not heal. They may become infected, and the infection may spread to the bone and become severe enough to be life threatening. Amputation is performed to remove the diseased tissue and prevent further spread of infection. Above-knee amputations are performed when the blood flow is inadequate in the lower leg or infection is so severe it prohibits a lower-level surgery. If an AKA surgery is necessary, it is usually performed by a vascular or orthopedic surgeon. The diseased or severely injured part of the limb will be removed, keeping as much of the healthy tissue and bone as possible. The surgeon shapes the remaining limb to allow the best use of a prosthetic leg after recovery. The need for AKA is caused by conditions including: Peripheral vascular disease Diabetes Infection/gangrene Trauma, causing the lower leg to be crushed or severed Tumor/cancer How Can a Physical Therapist Help? Prior to AKA surgery, your physical therapist may: Prescribe exercises for preoperative conditioning to improve your upper and lower extremity strength and flexibility Teach you how to walk with a walker or crutches Educate youabout what to expect after the procedure Immediately after surgery: You should expect to stay in the hospital for approximately 5 to 14 days. Your wound will be bandaged, and you may also have a drain at the surgery site. Pain will be mana Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Ulcers Can Lead To Amputation And Death

Diabetic Foot Ulcers Can Lead To Amputation And Death

Diabetes mellitus and its complications are the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.1 In fact, many cancers including prostate, breast and colon cancer have lower mortality rates – but a diagnosis of diabetes is still considered less life-threatening than a diagnosis of cancer. Among the most common complications of this chronic disease is the diabetic foot ulcer – a condition that can lead to amputation and death. Five-year mortality rates after new onset diabetic ulceration have been reported are between 43 and 55 percent and up to 74 percent for patients with lower-extremity amputation.2 Ulceration is, however, a final result of many poor habits, poor diabetes management and a lack of preventative action. Exercise, healthy eating, regular blood sugar monitoring, quitting smoking, taking the correct medication and taking it properly, and practicing good foot health all aid in the prevention of diabetic foot ulcers and generally increase the good health of the Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic. Diabetics are also regularly cautioned to always wear protective footwear to aid in the prevention of cuts, scrapes and potential infection for which diabetics are more at risk. Diabetics are told to avoid tight-fitting shoes and socks which can impede circulation and to regularly inspect their feet for calluses and dry skin. But research has shown that foot ulcers occur as part of the final stages of diabetic neuropathy and muscle atrophy in the feet. Research has also shown that small muscle atrophy is present in diabetics before clinical peripheral neuropathy can be detected using standard clinical techniques. This atrophy is believed to be the main factor responsible for the development of an imbalance between the flexor and extensor muscles, which results in clawi Continue reading >>

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