Sharp increase in toe, foot amputations during Covid pandemic
The number of foot and toe amputations in the Netherlands increased sharply during the pandemic. The increase is not due to the coronavirus itself but because many diabetes patients went to the doctor too late, AD reports after speaking to the Dutch Orthopedic Association.
Before the pandemic, about 2,500 feet and does were amputated every year. During the first coronavirus year, that number more than doubled. There are no figures for 2021 yet, but the association expects another increase.
Over a million Netherlands residents have some form of diabetes. About half of diabetes patients develop nerve issues in their feet, resulting in their feet becoming numb, stinging, or tingling. This could result in diabetes patients walking around with a foot injury without noticing it, risking infection.
Orthopedists noticed an increase in amputations among diabetes patients. Because the coronavirus pandemic delayed a lot of regular care, many diabetes patients had their feet checked less often. Some, therefore, developed a severe infection, making amputation unavoidable.