Limb Lengthening Surgery

Limb Lengthening Surgery in plastic surgery involves various techniques and procedures to treat conditions that may lead to limb amputation or have already caused significant damage to the lower limbs. This type of surgery is often necessary following trauma, infection, cancer, or chronic diseases and aims to preserve or restore the functionality and appearance of the affected limbs.

At the Cleveland Clinic Florida, limb salvage procedures are used to treat complex bone fractures, conditions affecting blood supply in the lower limbs like venous disease or peripheral artery disease, loss of function due to failed ankle or knee replacement surgeries, osteosarcoma in a lower limb, and severe leg wounds or infections, including those related to diabetes. The limb salvage process involves collaboration between plastic surgeons, vascular surgeons, and oncologists. Preoperative imaging, such as CT scans and MRIs, are used to plan surgery effectively. The surgery may involve removing cancerous tissue, restoring blood flow, or attaching healthy tissue to aid wound healing​.

The University of Colorado Hospital's Plastic and Reconstructive Clinic offers a multidisciplinary program integrating plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, and vascular surgery. They deal with unstable scar and chronic wounds, scar contracture, tendon exposure, bone or fracture non-union, osteomyelitis, and targeted muscle reinnervation. They use advanced techniques for stable wound closure and optimal healing, including comprehensive wound care, nerve surgery, biologic matrices, and skin grafts​​.

Brigham and Women's Hospital provides state-of-the-art surgical care for the leg and foot, focusing on enhancing functionality and improving mobility. Their surgeons are known for groundbreaking treatments and advanced reconstruction techniques. The treatment approach is personalized, addressing issues ranging from recent injuries to congenital malformations. They employ a multidisciplinary approach, involving various specialists, and are known for their expertise in limb reconstruction, restoration care, prosthetic advances for amputation patients, and advanced foot and limb transplant​.

In addition to these, other surgical reconstructive techniques for the lower limbs include skin grafts and flap surgery. Skin grafts involve transferring a healthy skin patch from one part of the body to cover the damaged area. Flap surgery involves transferring a piece of tissue, along with its blood vessels, from one part to another part of the body. This is particularly useful for more complex defects due to the presence of their own blood vessels​.

What are the common conditions that require Lower Limb Reconstruction?

Common conditions that may require lower limb reconstruction include: Severe fractures of the lower extremities Bone deformities (e.g., bow legs or knock knees) Joint arthritis (e.g., hip or knee arthritis) Limb length discrepancies Soft tissue injuries (e.g., muscle or tendon tears)

What are the types of surgeries involved in Lower Limb Reconstruction?

The types of surgeries involved in lower limb reconstruction may vary depending on the specific condition but may include: Osteotomy (bone cutting and realignment) Joint replacement (e.g., hip or knee replacement) Soft tissue reconstruction (e.g., tendon or muscle repair) Limb lengthening procedures

What is the recovery process like after Lower Limb Reconstruction surgery?

The recovery process after lower limb reconstruction surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery and individual factors. It often involves a period of immobilization, followed by physical therapy to regain strength, mobility, and function in the affected limb.

How long does it take to see the results of Lower Limb Reconstruction surgery?

The time it takes to see the results of lower limb reconstruction surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery and individual factors. Some patients may experience immediate improvements in mobility and function, while others may require a longer period of rehabilitation

Who needs Lower Limb Reconstruction?

Lower limb reconstruction may be recommended for individuals with conditions such as severe fractures, bone deformities, joint arthritis, limb length discrepancies, or soft tissue injuries that affect the function and alignment of the lower extremities.