After a severe fracture or suffering from serious side effects of certain medical conditions, your foot might be in a state where an amputation is a possible option. Fortunately, with recent medical advances, you can now often get limb salvage surgery instead of amputating your foot.
At Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle Mission Viejo, California, experienced podiatrist Thomas Rambacher, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA, and his interdisciplinary team are at the cutting edge of offering limb salvage surgery as an alternative to foot amputation. Understand how limb salvage surgery works, and why no part of the foot is too small to save.
Understanding limb salvage surgery
Limb salvage surgery is a revolutionary surgical procedure that allows you to retain your foot, or other parts of your limbs, instead of amputation. You might be at risk of foot amputation if you’ve had a dangerous injury in an accident.
You could also need potential foot amputation if you’ve had significant complications from the following medical issues:
- Bone cancer
- Soft tissue tumors
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Gangrene and other severe infections
Instead of amputating your foot, limb salvage surgery is a procedure or series of procedures that keep some or all of your foot intact.
Why no part of your foot is too small to save
Your foot is made up of an interconnected group of bones, tendons, blood vessels, ligaments, and more throughout your foot. When your foot gets amputated, you lose some of this critical network.
The more of your foot you’re able to save, the less disrupted you and your body will be. Even saving a small amount of your foot is beneficial to your overall health.
As part of limb salvage surgery, our team can replace or restore muscles and ligaments, improve blood flow through your foot, and thoroughly clean out any infections or diseases present. These procedures are beneficial to your physical wellness and can help you regain or retain mobility.
How limb salvage surgery works
Before you’re scheduled for limb salvage surgery, Dr. Rambacher determines if your foot is a possible candidate for limb salvage surgery. As part of this evaluation, Dr. Rambacher consults with an interdisciplinary team to ensure the best outcome to you and your foot.
If Dr. Rambacher and the multidisciplinary team determine you’re a good candidate for foot limb salvage surgery, they develop a procedure customized to give you the best chance at saving as much of your foot as possible. Procedures can involve:
- Removing severely damaged or infected bones, tissues or ligaments.
- Reconstructing bone, tendons, tissues, and ligaments using grafting techniques or other advanced replacements.
- Fusing your foot together with screws, rods. plates, wires, or 3D printing.
- Limb lengthening techniques to ensure your feet remain the same length.
Once your surgery is complete, the entire team continues to look after you to give you the best chance at a full recovery and the most use of your foot possible. Following your after-care instructions aids your foot in recovery.
Before making the life changing decision to amputate part or all of your foot, find out if limb salvage surgery could work for you. Schedule your consultation at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle today.