The Causes of Diabetic Limb Salvage


Diabetic foot syndrome is one of the most common complications of diabetes or chronic hyperglycemia. More than 60% of non-traumatic amputations involve diabetes as a factor and is a major source of morbidity and mortality.

Diabetic limb salvage surgery includes various procedures and precautions to ultimately avoid lower extremity amputation. Doctors with extensive knowledge about this kind of procedures are extremely important to ensure that the best outcome would surface, since procedures like this one have a high unpredictability when it comes to complications and recurrence. It is best that the patient and surgeon have a thorough and in-depth relationship devoting all the time and effort to achieve a positive outcome for both parties.


Below are other risk factors for lower extremity amputation:

  • Male
  • Insulin therapy
  • Foot ulcer
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Previous amputation

What are the main causes?

Nerve and blood vessel damage that are connected with diabetes can lead to severe complications and infections that are extremely hard to treat. A minor injury, such as a small cut, can ultimately lead to a serious infection. Half of the time, patients who have lost their ability to feel their feet and toes have a higher percent chance of acquiring these small injuries that leads to more serious complications. These cuts could develop into an ulcer and a very serious infection.

These infections could spread throughout the leg/s of the patients, causing more pain and more need for a various limb salvage procedures.  When the infection is so severe, part of the leg must be amputated. Amputations are done when all efforts of the doctor or team have been exhausted and when the tissue damage is so extensive. In most cases, the team of doctors will try to save as much of your foot as possible and try to ensure that further surgery will not be needed.

Diabetic patients often experience limb salvage as a very challenging and exhausting process. In order to be more successful, a team and multidisciplinary approach is usually taken to enhance the process of diabetic limb salvage. This is necessary to be able to process which approach is best to remove infected areas, eliminate tissue damage and remove necrotic tissue, reconstruct deformities and treat chronic wounds.

Diabetic limb salvage is important to preserve the extremities to various surgical techniques. It is crucial that a doctor with superior knowledge is involved with patients’ cases to ensure the best outcome for both the patient and doctor. Diabetic limb salvage aims to:

  • Ensure that the foot is free from tissue damage and infection
  • Minimize necrotic tissue
  • Minimize the recurrence of infection
  • Provide patient with a functional and healthy foot

If you worry that you might be at risk, please see your physician immediately to know your condition and how to manage it.