VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - It’s Limb Loss Awareness Month and one South Georgia doctor said it’s a significant problem in the area.
South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) is on a mission to save limbs rather than amputate.
Their vascular surgeon says the southeast region of Georgia is a hot spot for arterial disease.
It’s also the “stroke belt,” which means there’s a high percentage of strokes.
Diabetes, smoking and tobacco use can also cause blood vessel blockages.
Health experts said a blood vessel problem in one part of your body could develop into multiple problems in other body parts.
“One of the most common things as we get older, maybe you used to walk two miles a day and now, you walk a mile because you walk that mile and start cramping or you have fatigue or your leg is hurting you, or you are dragging because it’s heavy, it can be due to a lot of reasons but one of the main causes is blood vessel disease,” said Dr. David Hardy, a vascular surgeon at SGMC.
Hardy said the leading cause of amputations in southeast Georgia is health-related, but there are also a significant number of trauma-related amputations.
Those with leg sores, ulcers or swelling that won’t heal are urged to talk with a doctor.