For most Americans, encountering someone in their community who is missing a lower limb due to amputation isn’t terribly uncommon. Thanks to modern surgical techniques and advances in mobility devices, amputations don’t shock us — and many people don’t give any thought as to why the limb loss occurred in the first place.
But what is shocking is the number of Americans whose lives are forever changed by amputation — especially when such a traumatic outcome can likely be prevented.
Each year in the United States, more than 200,000 Americans undergo non-traumatic lower limb amputations. These amputations are not the result of motor vehicle collisions or some sudden accident, but rather because of advanced, undiagnosed or untreated peripheral artery disease (PAD), which can occlude arterial blood flow to the limbs and cause pain, infection and tissue death.