If you are faced with the prospect of amputation, you may have heard of an alternative called limb salvage surgery, also referred to as limb-sparing surgery. It sounds like something from the future, but actually there are plenty of inspirational stories about people right now who have undergone this procedure and living active lives that include running, biking, surfing and more.
Limb salvage surgery is commonly performed for bone cancer. In recent years, the procedure has been extended to diabetic patients, those with degenerative bone diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, as well as those with serious limb wounds. Rebekah Gregory is an inspiring example. As a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, she is currently being treated by doctors who are performing surgery to salvage her leg. Her hope is to someday run again.
So, what is limb salvage surgery and how exactly is it performed? Basically, the procedure entails removing only the part of the bone and surrounding tissue that is damaged or affected. Using prosthetic rods and bone grafts from other parts of the patient’s body, or from a donor, the section removed is then reconstructed. The appearance of the limb is preserved and its function is restored.
Of course, physical therapy is highly recommended for successful rehabilitation and to accelerate the process of getting you back to the activities you love to do. Rebekah Gregory is just one of many who has chosen this path.
To find out if it’s the right path for you, or to learn more about limb salvage surgery, contact Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro, Jr. of the Advanced Foot and Ankle Center, Inc. Call (302) 355-0056 or visit one of his three convenient Delaware locations in Glasgow, Newark, and Wilmington.
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