Reducing lower leg amputations in diabetes: a challenge for patients, healthcare providers and the healthcare system

N. C. Schaper*, J. Apelqvist, K. Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

45 Citations (Web of Science)


Amputation of the lower limb is one of the most feared diabetic complications. It is associated with loss of mobility and a poor quality of life. Amputations result in high economic burden for the healthcare system. The financial cost is also high for patients and their families, particularly in countries that lack a comprehensive health service and/or have a low income. Losing a leg frequently implies financial ruin for a whole family in these countries; therefore, a reduction in diabetes-related amputations is a major global priority. Marked geographical variation in amputation rates has been reported within specific regions of an individual country and between countries. A coordinated healthcare system with a multidisciplinary approach is essential if the number of amputations is to be reduced. This commentary discusses how studies on the variation in amputation rates can help to identify barriers in the access or delivery of care with the aim of reducing the burden of diabetic foot disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1869-1872
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Amputation
  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic foot
  • Multidisciplinary foot team
  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Ulcer

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