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Each year in the United States, more than 160,000 individuals undergo a lower-limb amputation, and Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI) is frequently the cause. CLI is a severe obstruction of the arteries, which dramatically reduces blood flow to the extremities and can progress to the point of severe pain and even skin ulcers or sores on the toes or feet. When skin ulcers and sores do not heal because of the restricted blood flow, infection can result that can lead to gangrene and ultimately amputation.

More than 60 percent of lower-limb amputation patients have diabetes. Additional risk factors for CLI include:

  • Age (men over 60 and women after menopause)
  • Smoking
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of vascular disease

Information courtesy of Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.

Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI)