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Limb amputations among Diabetics on a high

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"Among all the complications from diabetes, amputation can be the worst," said Dr. Craig Walker, of the Cardiovascular Institute of the South, in Houma, La., and one of the country's leading clinical investigators and cardiologists. "Amputation affects a person's quality of life drastically, from mobility to self-image. It is also associated with a decreased life expectancy. But, many amputations can be avoided by simply monitoring the symptoms and talking to a physician about your pain."

Common Warning Signs The frequent culprit of diabetic amputations is peripheral arterial disease (PAD), in which plaque blocks foot or leg arteries, resulting in pain, development of ulcers and onset of limb loss. According to the American College of Cardiology, common symptoms of PAD are: · Discomfort, cramping or heaviness in the toes, feet or legs · Poorly healing or non-healing wounds on the toes, feet or legs · Walking impairment · Pain at rest that is localized to the lower leg or foot · Abdominal pain that is provoked by eating · Familial history of a first-degree relative with an abdominal aortic aneurysm

One Man's Story In 1958, Tom Nelson decided to move from Minnesota to Colorado as a result of his love for the outdoors. Now in his mid-70s, Montrose, Colo., resident Nelson noticed exhaustion and increasing pain in his legs beginning to affect his day-to-day activities. No longer able to take his daily three-mile walks, Nelson's doctor detected arterial blockages in both legs. Fearing the worst, Nelson thought he would be bedridden or possibly facing amputation. This condition (frequently diagnosed as the most severe form of PAD, called Critical Limb Ischemia) is common in older people and particularly diabetics, affecting over 1 million people in the U.S. each year.

His doctor sent Nelson to Dr. Walker to undergo the CLiRpath procedure. Unlike bypass surgery or angioplasty and stenting techniques, the CLiRpath l
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