Amputations of toes, feet, even major portions of the lower leg are distressingly common in America today, often as the result of diabetic wounds and ulcers allowed to fester without treatment. Nearly 200,000 amputations are performed each year in the United States. Of the roughly 100,000 of these that are not due to traumatic injury, the vast majority are related to diabetes or other vascular conditions.
However, recent developments in wound care, microsurgery, and other advanced techniques are increasingly making limb salvage surgery an option for some cases that in the past would have been destined for early major amputation.
In a limb salvage operation, the surgeons use procedures such as implants, grafts, transplants, and other methods to preserve as much form and function of the lower limb as possible. If successful, salvage surgery can avoid amputation entirely and establish a higher long-term quality of life.
However, such procedures are not for everyone. There’s still a lot of risk involved, failure is still common (although medical advances are closing the gap), and a salvage surgery that fails or does not produce the desired outcome may ultimately be more stressful, expensive, and problematic over the long term than early amputation. The decision about whether or not to pursue limb salvage is a difficult one, and must be made in consultation with both doctors and loved ones.
At Family Foot and Ankle Center, our team of Ohio and Kentucky-based podiatrists are fully dedicated to providing the highest quality foot and ankle care to all our diabetic patients, including providing surgical options for wound care. Our No. 1 concern is achieving the best possible outcome for you, whatever route it may take to get there. To schedule an appointment at one of our six convenient offices, located in or around Cincinnati, please use our online form or call (888) 689-3317.