Lower extremity reconstruction surgery focuses on soft tissue and/or boney injuries to the legs, knees, ankles, feet, and toes. With this procedure, Dr. Khouri works to preserve limb length and restore function to the impacted area.
If you have need to consider lower extremity reconstruction, Dr. Khouri can help. Call CLE Plastic Surgery at 440-446-8600 to schedule your consultation at our comfortable and convenient Cleveland location.
Reasons for Lower Extremity Reconstruction
There are four major parts to the lower extremities: the hips, the thighs, the legs, and the feet. Together, these lower limbs are responsible for locomotion. They are also weight-bearing and essential for adapting to gravity.
As with all parts of the human body, the lower limbs are susceptible to injury, trauma, and disease. Some of these are caused by over-use. Others result from forceful impact. Others still may be the result of leg artery disease, peripheral neuropathy, spinal cord injury, or even infection.
Lower extremity injuries can impact soft tissue, occurring in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or fascia. They may also extend to joints, and bones. Symptoms may include:
- Loss of mobility
- Painful movements
- Swelling or edema
- General weakness
Goals of reconstructing lower extremities include restored motion, pain management, and longterm mobility. The method utilized will be dependent on factors unique to your anatomy and circumstances. While in our care, Dr. Khouri will take time to understand the cause of your condition and create a treatment plan appropriate for your specific needs.
Preparing for Lower Extremity Reconstruction
There are several methods of lower extremity reconstruction, including skin grafts, localized soft tissue/muscle flaps, and microsurgery. With the latter, blood vessels are restored to help improve tissue healing.
Dr. Khouri will provide you with preoperative instructions based on the type of procedure you will be having. These may include taking time to create a comfortable recovery space, making arrangements for help during the initial stage of recovery, and planning for time off of work. Taking time to prepare for recovery can help reduce risks and improve your overall comfort.
Prior to your procedure, you may be instructed to temporarily cease certain medications, supplements, and herbs. Additional precautions based on factors unique to your lifestyle or physiology may be necessary as well. These will be covered in full to help ensure you are prepared for your procedure and recovery period.
Recovery from Lower Extremity Reconstruction
Recovery from lower extremity reconstruction may require prolonged bedrest. Depending on the type of procedure performed, a splint or cast may also be needed to assist with proper fracture healing.
Some pain is to be expected. This can be addressed with medication provided by Dr. Khouri. Swelling and bruising can be expected as well. These should subside on their own. However, any worrisome swelling or prolonged discomfort should be brought to the immediate attention of Dr. Khouri.
Physical therapy may begin around week two, though it could be several months before you are able to lift heavy objects or perform more demanding tasks. It should be noted that, in some cases, the act of getting out of bed and standing will prove difficult enough for the first few weeks. Physical therapy and rehabilitation will begin only when you are ready.
Depending on the extent of your procedure, you may be able to resume working within a month. For more involved or invasive procedures, it could be several months before it is safe to resume your normal job duties. Dr. Khouri will work closely with you during this time to make sure you are able to resume normalcy as soon as possible.
Please note: scarring is inevitable at the donor and treatment sites. Every care is taken to reduce the extent of these scars, but it will be impossible to avoid them entirely.
Lower Extremity Reconstruction Risks
There are risks with any surgical procedure. These include infection, excessive bleeding, and poor reactions to anesthesia. Every precaution is taken by Dr. Khouri and his staff to safeguard the health of our patients. We would be happy to discuss this in greater detail during your time in our care.
Failure to follow pre and postoperative instructions may result in poor wound healing or a delay in recovery. A delay in the healing response may increase chances for disability and result in unsatisfactory outcomes. It is vital that you follow all instructions and maintain all follow-up appointments to help prevent serious issues.