Limb Salvage Surgery

Limb salvage surgery, also known as limb-sparing surgery, is a surgical procedure performed to remove a tumor or diseased tissue from a limb while preserving as much of the limb's function and structure as possible. Limb salvage surgery is typically employed in cases where amputation would otherwise be necessary to remove a tumor or treat a severe injury or infection. Here's a detailed description of limb salvage surgery:

Limb salvage surgery is indicated in various situations, including:

  • Treatment of bone and soft tissue tumors: Limb salvage surgery may be performed to remove malignant tumors from bones or soft tissues of the limbs while preserving the function and appearance of the affected limb.
  • Management of severe trauma: In cases of severe limb trauma, such as open fractures or crush injuries, limb salvage surgery may be considered to reconstruct the damaged tissues and preserve limb function.
  • Treatment of chronic infections: Limb salvage surgery can be employed to remove infected tissues and bone while maintaining limb viability, particularly in cases of chronic osteomyelitis or infected non-unions.

Surgical Technique: The specific surgical technique used in limb salvage surgery depends on the location and extent of the tumor or injury, as well as the patient's individual anatomy and functional requirements. However, the general steps of limb salvage surgery may include:

  • Preoperative planning: Detailed imaging studies, such as MRI, CT scans, or bone scans, are performed to assess the extent of the tumor or injury and plan the surgical approach.
  • Tumor resection or tissue debridement: The surgeon carefully removes the tumor or diseased tissue from the affected limb, ensuring complete removal while preserving adjacent healthy tissues.
  • Reconstruction: Following tumor resection or tissue debridement, reconstruction of the limb is performed to restore stability, function, and cosmesis. This may involve techniques such as bone grafting, internal fixation with plates and screws, soft tissue reconstruction with flaps or grafts, or prosthetic implantation.
  • Postoperative monitoring and rehabilitation: After surgery, the patient undergoes close monitoring for complications such as infection, wound healing problems, or implant failure. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are initiated to restore limb function, mobility, and strength.

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