Matt Wettstein, DPM
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Experienced podiatrist specializing in all foot care including wound care and sports medicine in Twin Falls.

x-ray of feet showing amputated toes and bunionYour feet play an integral role in your daily life, providing stability, balance, and mobility. Yet, they are often taken for granted until a problem arises. One such issue that can significantly impact the health of your feet is the loss of a toe. While toe amputations are sometimes necessary for medical reasons, it is crucial to understand why they may be required and why it's best to avoid them whenever possible. Our experienced Twin Falls diabetic foot care podiatrist can help you maintain your foot health and help you understand how toe amputations can be prevented.

When Toe Amputations Need to Be Done

Toe amputations are surgical procedures in which a part of a toe or the entire toe is removed. They are typically performed when there is a severe medical condition or injury that poses a significant risk to a person's overall health. Some common reasons why toe amputations may be necessary include the following.

Diabetes Complications

One of the leading causes of toe amputations is diabetes. High blood sugar levels can lead to nerve damage, known as neuropathy, and poor blood circulation, particularly in the feet. These complications can result in foot ulcers that, if left untreated, may lead to infection and tissue death, necessitating amputation to prevent the infection from spreading.

Severe Trauma

Accidents, crush injuries, and severe trauma can damage the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues of the toes. Damage to the toes can also occur when frostbite happens due to extreme cold temperatures. In cases where the damage is extensive and irreparable, toe amputation may be the only option to prevent further complications.


Gangrene is a condition where the tissues in the toe die due to a lack of blood supply. It is often caused by infections, vascular diseases, or injuries. When gangrene progresses, it can pose a serious threat to a person's life, and amputation may be necessary to prevent the spread of the infection.

Chronic Infections

Chronic infections, such as those caused by osteomyelitis (bone infection) or cellulitis (skin infection), can sometimes become so severe that they necessitate the removal of infected tissues, including the affected toe.