About 85% of the 65,700 diabetes-related leg or foot amputations in the U.S. each year start with a diabetic foot ulcer, and half of amputees die within five years, said Dr. David Schwegman, whose father died after a diabetes-related amputation. The Save a Leg, Save a Life Foundation educates doctors and the public about the importance of diabetes patients receiving regular exams and aggressively treating foot ulcers. Advanced skin cell substitutes, growth factor gel Regranex and hyperbaric oxygen therapy have been proven as effective treatments.

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