What is limb salvage?
When a limb is threatened by disease or other condition (cancer, infection, diabetes, low blood flow – to name a few) or trauma, reconstructive plastic surgeons work to save the limb or maximize its function after partial or complete amputation.
What are Some of the Ways a Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon Can Save a Limb?
We work (often with other doctors and surgeons) to repair broken bones, reconnect arteries and veins, clean out infection and cover wounds with flaps of tissue and grafts of tissue. After the immediate danger is over, we work to restore function with nerve grafts, muscle and tendon transfers and physical therapy.
Who May Benefit from Limb Salvage?
Anyone who is currently at risk for losing a limb from disease or trauma would benefit from limb salvage efforts. Generally speaking, quality of life is better with a native limb rather than a prosthesis, although in some cases an amputation is actually a better solution than trying to save a limb that is painful, and barely functions. The experts at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction are uniquely qualified to assess the limb and come up with a comprehensive, multidisciplinary plan to save the limb and/or maximize the function of the limb.
What are Some of the Techniques Used to Save a Limb?
Various flaps and grafts can be harvested from other places on the leg, arm or elsewhere on the body and transferred to the injured or diseased area. This can restore form and/or function in an area where it had been lost. Some of these techniques are relatively simple and quick, while others involve microsurgery and take many hours to perform. The surgeons at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction are trained in these techniques and can salvage even the seemingly hopeless in many cases.
Why Choose The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction for Limb Salvage Surgery?
Our surgeons are renowned for their expertise in the techniques involved in limb salvage, and we have an incredible amount of experience taking care of the most complex limb salvage cases. We work with some of the top doctors and surgeons as part of our team to maximize care of our patients in a multidisciplinary manner. We incorporate orthopedic, neurologic and rehabilitation medicine doctors in our approach as well as pain management and medical management of our patients’ ancillary medical problems. It is this holistic approach that we believe gives us superior outcomes.