While much of our work is centered around finding innovations to salvage limbs, patients also turn to us because they require an amputation. When a limb problem becomes persistent and recurring, the limb may be holding the patient back from returning to a higher level of activity that could be possible post-amputation.
"Some patients are ready for an amputation, they just haven't been allowed to talk about it, because lots of physicians say no, don't talk about the A word. You know, it's really really shocking to hear this. And so they're happy when they come to us that we talk freely about all the options."
We begin by determining first if the amputation is necessary. Our care team meets with the patient to assess him/her medically, and also learn about goals, needs and desires. All options are presented to the patient, who has the autonomy to direct the planning of the treatment. Our team offers Ertl-type amputations as well as transition of traditional to Ertl-type amputations.
Once the surgery is planned, the work has just begun. Our team will plan and perform the surgical treatment and then also work with the patient to provide prosthetics, orthotics, support groups as well as (where appropriate) osseointegration, targeted muscle reinnervation and residual limb lengthening. The relationships with our patients often go on for many years and we welcome the opportunity to become a part of their journeys.