The predictive value of distal blood pressure measurements for the level of amputation was studied prospectively in 161 consecutive diabetic patients with foot ulcers. The patients were treated as outpatients except for periods of surgery and when complications requiring hospital care occurred. All patients were treated pre- and postoperatively by the same multidisciplinary foot care team. Either ankle or toe blood pressure measurement was available in 86% of the patients. Incompressible arteries, ulcer or gangrene at the measuring site, previous amputation, poor general condition, and an emergency situation were factors that excluded standardized ankle and toe blood pressure measurements in 24% and 27% of the patients, respectively. An absolute lower ankle pressure level of 50 mm Hg was found, below which a minor amputation was never sufficient to achieve healing. An ankle pressure below 75 mm Hg was seldom sufficient, and at or above that pressure level, the ankle pressure had no predictive value in this respect. At a toe pressure below 15 mm Hg, a minor amputation was seldom sufficient. Ankle and toe pressure indices gave no further information.