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Ulcers and Amputations

Every year around 9,000 people with diabetes in England have legs, feet or toes amputated.

Janet Richards had a lower leg amputation after a cut incurred during treatment for an ingrown toe nail became infected and gangrene developed.

Trevor Cooke lost three toes as a result of diabetic foot disease.

Antonio Guerreiro first developed diabetic foot ulcers at the age of 41. They took a year and a half to heal, and have recurred since.

Around 77,000 people with diabetes in England have an ulcer right now. Ulcers substantially reduce quality of life.


The major amputation rate in people with diabetes in England varies by 700% across CCGs.

Experts believe that at least half of all these major amputations are avoidable. 

Reducing the major amputation rate in diabetes by half would improve quality of life for thousands of people, and save the NHS tens of millions of pounds each year.

Professor William Jeffcoate is a consultant diabetologist and diabetic foot researcher.

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