Amputation is the removal of an extremity (for example, an arm or a leg) either surgically, as a result of infection, diabetes, vascular disease, cancer and other diseases, or through trauma, such as in accidents.
Often, amputations can be prevented. Diabetes is the largest cause of preventable amputation, with about 70 diabetic Australians undergoing a foot amputation each week. Close management of diabetes including healthy eating, an active lifestyle, regular foot checks and good blood sugar control reduces the risk of amputation for people with diabetes.
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Last reviewed: July 2016