Lower Limb

Reconstruction to the lower limb is often required following high energy transfer injuries (e.g. motor vehicle accidents). Soft tissue and bone cancers may also require reconstruction of many tissue types in order to restore the function and form to a limb.

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The Procedure

Dr. Belt is able to offer the following modailities of reconstruction:

Skin grafting to areas of skin loss

e.g. following burn injuries, and extensive de-gloving injuries of the skin.

Local flap reconstruction

Local tissue can be used and transferred using flaps to restore soft tissue cover. These flaps are made more reliable in the lower limb by including the layer deep to the fat (fascia).

Regional flap reconstruction

Reliable tissue can be transferred based on the vascular pedicles of the lower limb. This tissue is used to resurface areas of tissue loss. Areas of the outer thigh and groin are particularly good for the thigh.

Distant flap reconstruction

Areas adjacent to the lower limb (e.g. the groin) can be used to resurface larger defects in the lower limb. These techniques may involve 2 staged operations.

Free flap reconstruction

More complex defects require the use of free tissue transfer. This is where a reliable block of tissue is moved from one area to another and its blood supply is restored using microsurgical techniques.

Revascularisation and replantation

Microsurgical reconstruction is used to restore a blood supply to a region when it has been divided (e.g. severed digit), or to restore blood flow when interrupted by trauma (e.g. crush injury).

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Complications and Risks

All Procedures have potential complications and risks. These can be divided into general complications and those specific to each procedure. The latter are listed in the FAQs below.

General complications include:

  • Wound complications - bleeding, bruising, collections under the skin of blood (haematoma), pus (abscess), serous fluid (seroma), infection, wound breakdown, suture extrusion, sensory loss;
  • Aesthetic complications - poor scars, stretched scars, raised scars (keloid or hypertrophic), contour irregularities, need for revisional procedure;
  • Anaesthetic complications

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