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What happens during limb salvage surgery?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2022 | Blog, Injuries

Limb salvage surgery provides New Jersey doctors with a way to remove tumors without removing the entire limb. Doctors tout limb salvage surgery as a vital medical procedure and it may be right for you, but complications may occur.

What is limb salvage surgery?

Limb salvage surgery affects people with severe medical conditions in their arms or legs. Salvage surgery’s goal is to prevent that amputation. Ideally, after limb salvage surgery, the patient should retain full usage of their arms and legs. These medical conditions typically require limb salvage surgery:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Vascular disease
  • Neural conditions
  • Accident or other trauma

How is the limb reconstructed?

The methods involved in limb salvage surgery depend upon the type of limb and the disease or injury causing the surgery. Methods involved in limb salvage include:

  • Blood vessel repair or replacement
  • Muscle removal
  • Metal implants
  • Expandable prosthesis
  • Bone replacements
  • Tissue regeneration

Who is a good candidate for limb salvage surgery?

Both adults and children with serious conditions may qualify for this surgery. Some implant procedures may not work on children who are too young, because the implant will not set in bones that continue to grow. But other types of limb salvage techniques may be right for both adults and children of any age.

What are the potential complications of limb salvage surgery?

Although limb salvage is viewed as a beneficial medical procedure, you can wind up being one of the people left with permanent damage after having the surgery. Major complications include:

  • Infections
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Bone overgrowth
  • Prosthetic failure
  • Need for amputation

How can you decide if limb salvage surgery is right for you?

Due to the severe consequences of choosing to either have the procedure or choosing not to, decisions should take place with a qualified and experienced medical professional. Always discuss potential complications with the medical professional prior to making any decisions regarding your health.