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Why are leg amputations done?

Causes of Amputation1

According to data from the USA, the main causes for lower limb amputation are vascular disease (54%), trauma (45%) and cancer (less than 2%). In the vascular disease category, diabetes affects 8.3% of the U.S. population and the number of amputations caused by diabetes increased by 24% from 1988 to 2009. The International Diabetes Federation predicts that the current global prevalence of diabetes will escalate from 285 million people to 435 million by 2030. It’s also projected that the amputee population due to diabetes will more than double by 2050. Other important risk factors for vascular diseases are smoking and being overweight, often due to inactivity and an unhealthy diet.

No one knows exactly how many people have undergone amputation surgery, but what we do know is that transtibial (below the knee) amputations are the most common, representing approximately 71% of amputations in the USA.