Limb reconstruction refers to the repair and restoration of the skin, soft tissue and/or bone of the arms or legs. Such repairs may be required following:
Limb reconstruction of wounds is crucial to preserve movement, function and prevent amputation. The Procedure
Depending on the size of the wound and extent of injury to the rest of the limb, your reconstruction may involve:
After the Surgery
Dressings and/or bandages will be applied over the incisions. Small tubes (drains) will be placed to remove excess blood and fluid for at least several days. Painkillers and antibiotics will be prescribed to control the pain and minimize the risk of infection.
You will have to remain in the hospital for some time to monitor your wound, graft and/or flap to ensure that it heals well. Throughout your recovery period, a physiotherapist will attend to you regularly for regular breathing exercises and to help you get used to walking again. Following lower limb reconstruction, you may not be allowed to weight-bear for several weeks until your tissues and/or bones have healed. During this time, you will be taught how to get about with crutches or a wheelchair.
Recovering strength, range and movement of the affected limb can take months. If you still have extensive wound care or rehabilitation needs after a couple of weeks in hospital, you may be discharged with home nursing care or transferred to a community hospital.
Understanding the Risks
As with any major surgery, limb reconstruction carries risks such as:
You may need to undergo revision surgery to correct these problems. The subject of risks, as well as potential complications of surgery are best discussed on a personal basis between you and your plastic surgeon.