Updated 3/2019 | Download PDF
Currently, 1.9 million people are living with limb loss in the United States, with an average of 507 people continuing to lose a limb every day. This results in an estimated 185,000 amputations per year (1), and this number is expected to double by the year 2050 due to increasing rates of diabetes and vascular disease (1). Among those living with limb loss, the major causes of their amputations are vascular disease (54%) – including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease – trauma (45%) and cancer (less than 2%) (2). The most common causes of pediatric amputations, however, are lawn mower accidents (3). Non-whites comprise about 42% of the limb loss population in the U.S. (1). In 2008, the diabetes related amputation rate among African Americans was nearly four times that of whites (4).
A total of 16,005 amputations were performed in Texas hospitals in 2014. These amputations were performed for a variety of reasons, including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease complications. The following information details the trends and most current rates of amputation and diabetes in Texas.
1. AMPUTATION TRENDS OVER TIME
The number of total amputations performed in Texas each year increased 30.30% from 2007 to 2014 according to hospital discharge data. A total of 108,031 amputation procedures were performed in this time period. After dropping to 11,985 in 2008, amputations increased to 16,005 by 2014. (See Graph 1.1)
The number of upper-extremity amputations performed from 2007 to 2014 totaled 8,399. The lowest incidence of these amputations (974) occurred in 2008, while 2014 saw the most upper-extremity amputations (1,144), which is an 8.48% increase since 2007. (See Graph 1.2)
The number of lower-extremity amputations performed each year increased by 32.50% from 2007 to 2014. A total of 99,541 lower-extremity procedures were performed in this time period. The lowest incidence of these amputations (10,992) occurred in 2008. The numbers climbed after that until they reached their highest point (14,892) in 2014. (See Graph 1.3)
2. TYPES OF AMPUTATIONS PERFORMED
1,098 upper-extremity amputations were performed in 2014. The most common minor upper-extremity amputations were of the fingers (821), and the most common major upper-extremity procedures were above (44) and below (50) the elbow. (See Graph 2.1)
14,888 lower-extremity amputations were performed in 2014. In terms of minor lower-extremity amputations, toes (6,874) were amputated more often than part of the foot (2,040). For major lower-extremity amputations, below-knee (3,552) amputation was the most common procedure. (See Graph 2.2)
3. WHO LOSES A LIMB?
In 2014, most amputations were performed on individuals aged 45-64 years old, followed by the age group of 65-84 year olds (See Graph 3.1).
There were about 2 times more amputations performed on male patients in Texas than on female patients (See Graph 3.2).
Medicare recipients ranked as the most common group to have an amputation procedure (See Graph 3.3).
We can see that the African American population of Texas bears the heaviest burden of amputation (0.085% of the African American population underwent amputations), followed by Hispanics (0.057% of the Hispanic population underwent amputations). This is evident when compared with the percentage of the white population that underwent amputations (0.034%), and with amputations in the state’s population as a whole (0.061%). (See Graph 3.4)
4. AMPUTATION COSTS
In 2014, a total of 2,179,645 Texans indicated that they had been diagnosed with diabetes at some point in their lives. The prevalence of diabetes in the adult population of Texas increased 236.8% from 1994 to 2014. (See Graph 4.1)
The annual rate of existing cases of diabetes among adults in Texas increased 86.21% from 1994 to 2014. (See Graph 4.2)
5. HEALTHCARE COSTS
For persons with a unilateral lower-extremity amputation, the two year healthcare costs, including initial hospitalization, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient physical therapy, and purchase and maintenance of a prosthetic device, is estimated to be $91,106. The lifetime healthcare cost for persons with a unilateral lower extremity amputation is estimated to be more than $500,000 (5). It is anticipated that these healthcare costs would be higher for a person with a proximal amputation level and bilateral amputation status, due to higher prosthetic costs.
Charges represent what the hospital billed for the case, and may not represent all discharges for amputations. (See graph 5.1)
- Ziegler-Graham K, MacKenzie EJ, Ephraim PL, Travison TG, Brookmeyer R. Estimating the Prevalence of Limb Loss in the United States: 2005 to 2050. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation2008;89(3):422-9.
- Coalition LLTFA. Recommendations from the 2012 Limb Loss Task Force: Roadmap for Preventing Limb Loss in America. [White Paper]. 2012 February 9-12.
- Bryant PR, Pandian G. Acquired limb deficiencies. 1. Acquired limb deficiencies in children and young adults. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation2001;82(3B):00s3-s8.
- Li Y, Burrows NR, Gregg EW, Albright A, Geiss LS. Declining Rates of Hospitalization for Nontraumatic Lower-Extremity Amputation in the Diabetic Population Aged 40 Years or Older: U.S., 1988-2008. Diabetes Care2012;35(2):273-7.
- MacKenzie EJ. Health-Care Costs Associated with Amputation or Reconstruction of a Limb-Threatening Injury. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American)2007;89(8):1685.
It is not the intention of the Amputee Coalition to provide specific medical or legal advice but rather to provide consumers with information to better understand their health and healthcare issues. The Amputee Coalition does not endorse any specific treatment, technology, company, service or device. Consumers are urged to consult with their healthcare providers for specific medical advice or before making any purchasing decisions involving their care.
This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90LLRC0001-04-00, from the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
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