Soft Tissue Reconstruction for Amputees, Institute for Limb Preservation

Amputees may have trouble with skin breakdown over the residual limb making it difficult to wear a prosthesis, or there may be too much tissue to adequately fit a prosthesis to the limb. In these situations reconstruction of the soft tissue of the limb could be considered to enable fitting with a prosthesis.

The team of specialists with the amputation program are able to assess the condition of the soft tissues, and determine if a reconstruction is a option. Muscle flaps, local soft tissue flaps, and skin grafts are all possible options for reconstruction if there is insufficient soft tissue coverage. In situations where there is excess tissue, debulking procedures are considered to decrease the redundant tissue making prosthetic fit difficult.

In a situation that a lengthening procedure is done, there is usually a need for soft tissue coverage over the lengthened extremity. In this situation, the plastic surgeon determines the best tissue for coverage that minimizes functional loss to another part of the body.