The goals of lower extremity reconstruction are to restore limb function, cover vital structures, and maintain a satisfactory appearance following injury, infection, vascular or metabolic diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and so on. Reconstruction of the lower extremity can be organized into 3 general locations according to wound presentation: the tibia bone, feet, and knees.
Indications for a Lower Extremity Reconstruction
The most frequent indication for lower extremity reconstruction is the need to replace or reconstruct an absent lower extremity function (i.e. sensation, motion).
Possible causes of defects to tibia bone requiring reconstruction:
- Low- to high-speed injuries resulting in fractures
- Bone tumors
Possible causes of defects to feet :
- Traumas, injuries
- Infection, tumor
- Vascular or metabolic diseases
- Traumas, injuries
- Infection, tumors
- Healing difficulties from arthroplasties
- Degenerative joint disease, rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
Possible causes of defects to knees:
Your Lower Extremity Reconstruction Procedure with Dr. Morse
Lower extremity reconstruction is complex because of the incredible variation of factors involved, including injury location and extensiveness, tissues types involved, and your medical background. Among the most commonly used surgical techniques are fasciocutaneous flaps, muscle flaps, tissue expansion, free tissue transfer, and microsurgery. Surgery can take anywhere from 2 - 6 hours and will be conducted under general anesthesia. For relatively uncomplicated injuries, Dr. Morse may take a simple closure approach in which he makes an incision in the skin, reconstructs the wound as needed, and closes it with sutures. More complex cases may require the rearrangement of soft tissue to close over open skeletal tissue. In such instances, Dr. Morse may need to combine several techniques like skin and/or bone grafting, and free tissue transfer using microsurgery.
What to Expect After Surgery
Because of the multiple factors at play in lower extremity reconstruction, and a corresponding variation in surgical approaches, aftercare differs for every individual. Healing from reconstructive surgery can take up to 6 weeks and, depending on the severity of the injury, it may be a year before you are able to resume your pre-injury activity level. Dr. Morse will review your postoperative care expectations and instructions specific to your reconstruction procedure so that you are prepared and know what to expect.
To learn more about the benefits, costs or possible side effects of lower extremity reconstruction surgery, contact Dr. Morse for a personal consultation.