Over 60 percent of nontraumatic amputations are due to diabetes complications, such as foot ulcers, peripheral neuropathy, and peripheral vascular disease.
Limb salvage or limb-sparing techniques employed by physicians can prevent the amputation of a patient’s leg due to diabetes complications. Through this approach, a patient suffering from diabetic complications of the lower foot can be free of infection, retain leg function, and minimize future complications.
Successful limb salvaging involves the use of highly advanced therapies and techniques as well as a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers.
When is Limb Salvage Necessary?
Usually, amputation is recommended for patients with chronic foot wounds and persistent foot ulcers and infections. An infected wound is the leading cause of amputation in diabetics. Amputation is also recommended for patients who aren’t seeing improvement through other treatments, such as glycemic control, callus debridement, and wearing custom-made shoes for diabetics, and continue to see the development of foot ulcers and infections. As a final resort, amputation removes the limb to prevent problems from spreading to the leg.
However, with limb-salvage surgery, you may be able to hold on to your lower extremities. Limb salvage involves removing dead tissue and replacing damaged bone so that the entire limb doesn’t have to be removed and can function properly. Limb salvage involves removing dead and diseased tissue and bone and implanting artificial parts and bone grafts to replace them. This is essentially a limb reconstruction procedure. Limb salvage is often used for patients with severe diabetic food infections and for those with cancer in the foot or ankle bones.
Successful Limb-Salvage Requires a Multidisciplinary Team
Successful limb salvage procedures involve a variety of medical professionals working together before, during, and after the procedure. Because diabetes is a complicated condition and you will need different types of medical care during and after your procedure, you will need to see a variety of doctors for proper and complete treatment.
The head of a limb salvage team is typically a foot and ankle surgeon. The limb-salvage team may also include:
- Internal medicine doctors
- Vascular surgeons
- Emergency medicine doctors
- Plastic surgeons
- Rehabilitation specialists
Foot and Ankle Surgery in South Texas
Our foot and ankle doctors at The Podiatry Group of South Texas specialize in diabetic foot care, which includes regular foot examinations and wound care. We will also guide you in preventive foot care.
In the situation that you develop a severe infection or are at risk of a limb amputation because of diabetes, our podiatric surgeons have the training, skills, and expertise to perform foot and ankle surgery, such as limb salvage or amputation. We will make every attempt possible to save your limb while ensuring you stay as healthy as possible.
For high-quality and expert foot and ankle care, make an appointment at The Podiatry Group of South Texas clinic nearest you or request an appointment now. We look forward to serving you and helping you with your foot or ankle needs.