Impact of Limb Loss

There are currently 1.9 million people living with limb loss in the United States and this number is expected to nearly double by 2050. With an average of 507 people losing a limb to amputation every day, limb loss has a momentous impact on the overall health and quality of life of the U.S.. The predicted escalation of limb loss is primarily tied to the increasing prevalence of diabetes and vascular diseases.

The review presented below is not intended to be comprehensive but to provide highlights regarding the background literature underlying the Limb Loss Task Force recommendations.

Direct Health-Related Costs

  • In 2014, hospital charges for lower-limb amputation procedures accounted for more than $10 billion.
  • In 2004, the total hospital costs associated with diabetes-related lower-limb amputations alone totaled more than $1.5 billion .
  • Professional nursing care at home after losing a limb due to dysvascular disease costs a person with limb loss an estimated $100,000 per year .
  • A below-knee amputation costs Medicare an average of $81,051 per person.
  • Trauma patients who undergo attempts at limb salvage over the course of 18-24 months following their injury averaged 53.4 days in the hospital at a cost of $53,462 in hospital charges and, on average, underwent 6.9 surgical procedures with attendant personal and financial costs .