How Much Is Your Leg Worth? Podiatric Salvage Techniques to Save Most Legs

How Much Is Your Leg Worth? Podiatric Salvage Techniques to Save Most Legs

Have you been told that your foot or leg is so severely injured or deformed that you might need an amputation? Before scheduling an amputation, determine if your limb can be saved with limb salvage surgery.

With the advancement of cutting-edge surgical techniques, board-certified podiatrist Thomas Rambacher, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA, from Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, believes it’s possible to save most legs from amputation, even if you’ve been previously told you need to lose your limb. Discover the various techniques available that can save your leg and foot.

Why consider limb salvage surgery?

Losing your leg or foot to amputation means significant recovery time and changes, including sometimes needing to relearn basic skills like walking. By getting limb salvage surgery, Dr. Rambacher can save our leg or foot by reconstructing it and using other advanced techniques. 

If a medical professional told you you might lose your limb or that you definitely need an amputation, limb salvage surgery could be an option that saves your leg and foot. You should always get an evaluation from Dr. Rambacher to see if your limb can be saved before agreeing to an amputation.

These are some of the medical conditions that can cause your limb to deteriorate to the point that you need limb salvage surgery:

You might also need special surgery to save your leg or foot if you’ve had a severe fracture that hasn’t healed well or another foot deformity.

Leg salvage techniques

There are several different surgical techniques Dr. Rambacher can use, depending on the specific problems with your leg. He makes recommendations based on a detailed consultation, testing, and imaging like X-rays or MRI to determine which surgeries would work best for your leg.

Limb reconstructive surgery can consist of one or multiple surgeries. Some of the techniques Dr. Rambacher might use to save your leg or foot include:

Allograft bone replacement

If you’ve lost significant amounts of bone in your leg or foot, you can receive a replacement from a carefully screened donor. After Dr. Rambacher places the bone in your leg, you can expect your bones to heal with the allograft and accept it as part of your leg or foot.

Circular ring external fixation

Circular rings are sturdy, circular frames Dr. Rambacher affixes to your leg or ankle using tools like wires and nails. These fixations can keep a weakened limb in position, correct any alignment issues, and even lengthen your leg if needed.


An endoprosthesis is a metal replacement for joints that have been removed or degenerated to the point they no longer function properly. An endoprosthesis is safe, effective, and works like your natural joint.

Joint fusion

Other times, Dr. Rambacher recommends joint fusion when reconstructing a limb. In this surgery, he fuses two ends of the joint and has them heal together to strengthen it. He might also use plates and screws to reinforce your joint.

Tissue regeneration

Various regenerative medicine techniques help your tissue slowly and naturally heal and regrow in your leg. Certain pioneering techniques also help you regrow small parts of your own bone.

In addition to these techniques, Dr. Rambacher often recommends nerve grating and reconnecting blood vessels and muscles. He can also move bones, lengthen tendons, and reinforce stability in your foot during limb salvage and reconstructive surgery.

If you’ve been told you need a leg or foot amputation, our team might be able to save it with limb salvage surgery. Contact us to learn more and make an appointment.

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