What is Limb Saving?

An estimated 185,000 amputations are performed in the U.S. each year. Amazingly, more than half had no diagnostic or therapeutic endovascular intervention in the year leading up to the amputation. At Trident’s Limb Saving program our goal is to provide our patients every option available to them to prevent unnecessary amputations.

There are many types of limb-sparing techniques including arthrodesis, arthroplasty, alloprosthetic composite, endoprosthetic reconstruction, prosthetic implants and rotationplasty.

Who is at Risk of Losing a Limb?

Patients often present with a non-healing ulcer. They may have decreased sensory loss of an extremity. Those at risk for possible limb loss may include patients with any, some, or all of the following co-morbidities: peripheral arterial disease, coronary artery disease, tobacco use, diabetes, blood clotting disorder, non-healing wounds, bone infection (osteomyelitis), rest claudication and hyperlipidemia.

Risk & Prevention To Do List:

  • Do not smoke or use any tobacco products.
  • Adopt healthy eating habits.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Reduce high blood pressure.
  • Keep cholesterol levels under control.
  • If you are diabetic, control your blood sugar level.

Notify Your Physician if You Have These Signs:

Area of Pain Symptoms
Legs Reduced hair growth; cramps when lying in bed
Legs & arms Turn reddish blue or pale
Legs & feet Thin or pale skin; weak pulses; wound or ulcers that won’t heal
Toes Blue color, severe burning or thick and opaque toe nails
Muscles Feel numb or heavy

Limb Loss Prevention:

A multi-disciplinary team approach is critical to limb saving. Whether a patient currently has problems with their legs and feet or is looking for ways to prevent future problems, our team is here to guide patients through the journey.

Using established protocols and the latest advancements our team of specialists will work with patients, families and their current healthcare team to ensure they have the services, care and preventative tools needed to optimize long-term health.

Our Multi-disciplinary Program Features:

  • A comprehensive evaluation by one of our physicians to develop an individualized care plan based on established protocols and unique patient-specific needs.
  • A team of specialists to work with the patient and the patient’s existing healthcare providers.
  • A team to help patients and families with communication and coordination of healthcare among various providers.
  • Education, including nutrition and diabetes management skills for home use.
  • Prevention, including off loading, pressure relief and routine care.
  • Long term follow up.

Our Team:

  • Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Diabetes Education
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Wound Care

Who to Call?

For more information, contact:

Catherine Maxwell, RDMS RVT
Trident Medical Center
Vascular & Limb Saving Coordinator