Many of us have seen someone who has lost a limb. Sometimes only a portion of the limb is removed. Other times, the entire limb is removed. The degree of limb removal is completely dependent on the underlying condition resulting in the amputation. Podiatrists know that there can be many reasons for a full or partial amputation of the foot, ankle or leg. Some of these conditions are preventable while other conditions are due to genetics or circumstance.
What Is Amputation?
Amputation is a surgical procedure in which a full or part of a limb is removed from the body. One of the most common types of amputations is an amputation that occurs below the knee.
What Causes Amputation?
Peripheral Arterial Disease – This is the most common reason for amputation of the foot. When the foot experiences a lack of adequate blood supply, it can no longer receive oxygen and nutrients. The tissue begins to die and the foot begins to suffer. Once infection sets in, it can spread throughout the foot and continue to grow. Amputation is necessary to stop the infection in its tracks.
Severe Injury - If you are involved in a serious accident such as a burn or car crash, you may suffer an injury so severe it may require amputation.
Cancer – If you suffer from foot cancer and it is embedded in the muscle or tendon of the foot, this may call for amputation. This prevents cancer from spreading and affecting the rest of the body.
Frostbite – Frostbite can occur when the feet get so cold that they begin to go numb and the tissue slowly dies. This is because the body takes the blood from the limbs and centralizes it near the organs to keep them warm in cold climates. This causes tissue death and eventually the loss of the foot.
Infection – If a patient suffers from a severe infection that does not get better with prescribed antibiotics, they may have to amputate to prevent the infection from spreading to the rest of the body.
Amputation is a very serious surgical matter. A podiatrist takes the decision very seriously and conducts a thorough examination and testing before going to such lengths. If you have been diagnosed with a condition that calls for amputation now or in the near future, consider getting a second opinion from a podiatrist. Call Dr. Andrew H. Cohen, of Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center, located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today.