Limb-saving program in Charleston, SC

An estimated 185,000 amputations are performed in the U.S. each year. Of those, more than half had no diagnostic or therapeutic endovascular intervention in the year leading up to the amputation.

The goal of Trident Health System's limb-saving program is to provide patients with every option available to prevent unnecessary amputations.

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

For more information, contact our Vascular and Limb-saving Coordinator at (843) 847-5100.

Limb-saving program features

Our limb-saving program features a unique approach involving specialists from various disciplines, from diabetes and cardiovascular care to wound care and diagnostics. We offer the following services to those in danger of losing a limb:

  • 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 offloading, pressure relief and routine care
  • Long-term follow-up

Who is at risk of losing a limb?

Patients often have a nonhealing 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 conditions:

  • Blood clotting disorder
  • Bone infection (osteomyelitis)
  • Cardiovascular issues, such as coronary artery disease or peripheral arterial disease
  • Claudication (pain in legs when walking)
  • Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Nonhealing wounds
  • Tobacco use

Are you in danger of losing a limb?

Notify your physician if you have these signs:

  • Reduced hair growth on legs
  • Leg cramps when lying in bed
  • Legs and arms turning reddish-blue or pale
  • Thin or pale skin in legs and feet
  • Weak pulse in legs and feet
  • Wound or ulcers that won’t heal
  • Blue color in toes
  • Severe burning or thick and opaque toenails
  • Numbness or heaviness in muscles

Limb loss prevention

We believe a multidisciplinary team approach is critical to limb saving. Whether a patient has problems with their legs and feet or is looking for ways to prevent future issues, our team is here to guide them through the journey.

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

To help prevent complications and preserve limbs, make sure you are following these recommendations:

  • 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 have diabetes, control your blood sugar level.

Our limb preservation team

Our team is composed of specialists in the following areas: