I remember it like yesterday; I was playing pool with my father.  His friend, who was a veteran of the Vietnam war, was lining up his pool cue on the table.  I said to my father “doesn’t he have to keep a foot on the ground when he makes that shot?”  My father sarcastically answered “He will, just watch.”  I  witnessed as he reached down, maneuvered his leg and the next thing I knew his leg and shoe dropped to the ground with a “clunk.” He banked the winning shot and I saw the first benefit of being an amputee.

New England Amputee Association members and fellow readers, we recently concluded our Putt & Prevent 28 held in Devens, Massachusetts.  Since over 28 million people in the United States area at risk for having an amputation and over 500 people loose their limbs daily, we developed this newsletter to help prevent amputations.

We want to help you keep your feet for your whole life.  “Do you have two feet?  We want you to keep them both.  Have you lost a toe, foot or leg?  We want you to keep what you have left.”

Many of you reading this are amputees, family members or know someone who has diabetes.  I enjoy teaching amputees because they have a good sense of humor, are helpful to one another and are REALLY motivated to keep their feet.

What are the factors that cause an amputation?  We will be reviewing that over the next few weeks.  Here are the leading risk factors that can lead to amputation.

1. Poor blood flow
2. Deep infection
3. High blood sugar or poor nutrition
4. Pressure on the foot