Lower Extremity Reconstruction
Injury to the lower extremity is one of the most common traumatic injuries encountered in both combat and civilian situations. While mortality from severe lower extremity trauma may occur, morbidity and prolonged rehabilitation are virtually guaranteed. Prior to World War I, management of such injuries largely involved amputation. Improvements in sterile technique, the use of antibiotics, bony fixation, and microvascular reconstruction have shifted the management paradigm from primarily amputation to limb salvage and reconstruction.
One of the most important advancements in microvascular surgery that has affected this paradigm shift to limb salvage and preservation is the use of free flap reconstruction. Our surgeons are skilled in complex reconstruction of the extremities such as free flap, which uses skin, tissue, muscle and even nerves from other parts of the body. Complex free flap reconstruction enables our surgeons to routinely preserve limbs that previously would have been amputated, thus improving a patient’s quality of life in the process. Although many uncontrollable variables can affect reconstruction outcomes in trauma patients, early intervention and free-flap coverage can improve limb salvage.