Institute for Limb Preservation at PSLMC

Limb preservation services in Denver, CO

Institute for Limb Preservation® (ILP) is a team of medical professionals specializing in management of complex extremity problems and treatment of conditions and diseases that place people at risk of losing a limb.

For more than 30 years, this group—located at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center (P/SL) and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children(RMHC)—has established itself as the Rocky Mountain region's premier medical community to evaluate and treat diseases and trauma that affect the extremities.

Our multidisciplinary limb preservation team

Our team of experts includes specialists in orthopedic surgery, vascular surgery, oncology, infectious disease, plastic surgery and pediatric subspecialties. This group of physicians manages complex extremity issues with a collaborative team approach to care. This includes:

  • Weekly meetings across disciplines to share knowledge of advances in technology and techniques
  • Offering the latest treatments with proven success based on the on-going Extremities at Risk clinical research
  • Active involvement in outcome studies, publications and presentations at world-wide medical conferences
  • Full-time referral coordinator to assist with new patient referrals, appointments, transportation and lodging during the patient work-up
  • Patient navigator as a central point of contact for limb threatening diagnoses

Meet Your Patient Navigator

Your Central Point of Contact for Limb Threatening Diagnoses

Jennifer Flores
(800) 262-5462
Patient Navigator

Jennifer is a member of our multidisciplinary team and functions as an advocate and educator for patients with limb threatening diagnoses from point of entry through discharge. Understanding and navigating your complex care plan may feel overwhelming, but Jennifer is here to help every step of the way.

The Institute for Limb Preservation program at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center fosters a patient-centered, team-based, innovative approach to the diagnoses and treatment of complex limb and life-threatening conditions and is committed to helping you achieve your goals. We strive to educate patients and their families to ensure they fully understand their treatment plan. Your central resource is our Institute for Limb Preservation Navigator, Jennifer Flores.

Jennifer’s role includes:

  • Facilitating communication between all members of the healthcare team
  • Helping patients understand the pre-planning necessary before undergoing surgery, such as arranging for home help, pet care and preparing your home
  • Providing a connection to the Limb Preservation Foundation
  • Serving as a reliable and trusted source with answers to varied questions
  • Providing a personalized touch to care by visiting patients during their hospital stay
  • Being available to communicate with patients following surgery

Our history

The Institute for Limb Preservation, formerly known as the Denver Clinic, was established at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center by Drs. Ross Wilkins and Thomas Arganese in 1986. Prior to its existence, patients were forced to visit a variety of physicians and facilities to receive the necessary treatments. Under Drs. Wilkins and Arganese’s innovative orthopedic model, plastic surgery, oncology, radiology and the treatment of infectious diseases could be conveniently found under one roof.

Thanks to this model, which serves as a prototype for many programs throughout the world, patients facing life- and limb-threatening cancers and diseases now have a 90 percent survival rate and a 95 percent limb preservation rate.

Our limb preservation programs

The collective experience and specialized knowledge of our limb preservation team allow the ILP to treat the full spectrum of limb conditions, diseases and injuries.

Amputation program

When amputation is chosen to address a persistent limb problem, the patient is guided through the procedure, recovery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, prosthetic fitting and psychological concerns resulting from amputation. We are an amputation Center of Excellence with advanced expertise in amputation treatment and leading technology for prosthetic devices.

Procedures and components of our amputation program include:

  • Ertl-Type amputations
  • Transition of traditional to Ertl-Type amputations
  • Latest technology prosthetics
  • Osseous integration technology
  • Prosthetics & orthotics
  • Support groups for patients considering amputation
  • Targeted muscle reinnervation
  • Residual limb lengthening

Bone-healing program

We provide surgical treatment options using the latest innovations in bone-healing technologies, as well as time-honored approaches to provide the best options for people with bone-healing problems.

Our bone-healing treatment options include:

  • Vascularized bone grafting
  • Allograft bone transplantation
  • Deformity correction (crooked bones and/or short bones)
  • Stem cell grafting
  • Internal and external fixation options
  • Custom titanium cage implantation

Sarcoma (bone and soft tissue tumors) program

The ILP is recognized for its expertise in the management of adult and pediatric extremity tumors and provide expert evaluation and treatment for patients with bone or soft tissue sarcomas. We also treat patients with metastatic tumors to the bone.

Our approach to patient care focuses on “life over limb,” but with successful management of sarcomas using the appropriate chemotherapy protocols, including intra-arterial chemotherapy, we offer many limb-sparing surgical options. Some of these innovative techniques have been pioneered by physicians on our team.

  • Allograft procedures
  • Custom implant designs
  • Foam metal technologies
  • Growing prosthesis for children
  • Innovative amputation techniques
  • Soft tissue-reconstruction options

Mangled-extremity program

Our mangled-extremity program is a referral-based system for patients who are medically stable following significant trauma that has resulted in complex extremity injury. This program focuses on treatments including:

  • Amputation surgery
  • Internal and external fixation options
  • Early soft-tissue coverage
  • Fracture stabilization techniques
  • Management of infection
  • Restoring lost segments of bone
  • Vascularized bone and soft tissue

Avascular necrosis program

Avascular necrosis, also known as osteonecrosis, can be extremely debilitating and affects up to 20,000 new people each year. It usually stems from a history of alcoholism, significant joint trauma or chronic steroid use for management of systemic diseases.

Our team of orthopedic and plastic surgeons provides surgical options for management of osteonecrosis of the hip, knee, ankle, shoulder and elbow, taking into account the patient’s activity level and lifestyle. These surgical options could include:

  • Core decompression
  • Joint-resurfacing procedures
  • Vascularized bone flaps
  • Custom titanium cage implantation
  • Stem cell grafting
  • Joint replacement
  • Joint fusion
  • Allograft transplant

Extremity-replantation program

Re-attaching an amputated body part is a complex process that can take anywhere from four to 12 hours. Our plastic surgeons are experts at managing the damaged nerves, vessels and muscles that must be addressed to assure a positive outcome for each patient.

This program provides patients with:

  • A team of plastic surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and vascular surgeons for extensive upper extremity trauma
  • A referral system coordinating patient transport to Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center
  • Replant surgeons providing a phone consultation to the referring physician and patient for management decisions prior to transport to P/SL
  • Access to a certified hand therapist for immediate post-operative care

Mission Statement

To foster a patient-centered, team-based, innovative approach to the diagnoses and treatment of complex limb and life-threatening conditions.