Limb salvage is a term now used too freely in the description of medical and surgical services. We practice true limb salvage with an expert team of vascular surgeons in cases of peripheral vascular disease. In cases of extensive wounds we are trained to do muscle and tissue flaps but we also know our limitations and work with our expert plastic reconstructive surgeons when necessary as well. Our radiologist partners provide us with the newest diagnosic techniques for charcot, infection, osteomyelitis and bone nonunion situations.
Many of the patients sent to Dr. David Gitlin have already been to many other specialists and have been told that either nothing could be done or that amputation is necessary. We do not agree, when we need skin we will regrow it, when we need new bone we will grow that as well through a very technical process know as distraction osteogenesis. Take a look at some limb salvage cases shown below for your interest.
First is a 45 year old female with severe ankle wound, We resected out the entire ulcer and stiched it shut. we applied an external fixator over the foot and ankle that prevented motion in the area. This motion control allows us to help heal wound quickly, we use this technique as often as we can in the right situations.
Below is an xray of a procedure done to salvage a patients leg, a severe infection uncontrolled by antibiotics was treated with complete removal of infected bone. An antibiotic rod and heel bone replacement was created and fitted into the patients leg. You can see the cement as the white structure. We commonly replace bones with antibiotic cement with excellent results in many cases.