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Limb Preservation Specialist

NOVA Wound Care, PC

Board-Certified Wound Care Specialist located in Fairfax, VA & Eastern Shore, Nassawadox, VA

If you have diabetes or peripheral arterial disease, limb preservation can lower your risk associated with slow-healing wounds, infections, and amputation. At NOVA Wound Care, PC, with two convenient locations in Fairfax and Eastern Shore Nassawadox, Virginia, wound care specialist Timothy Lapham, MD, and his team offers limb preservation services personalized to each patient’s individual needs. To schedule your appointment, call the office nearest you or book online today.

Limb Preservation Q&A

Preserving the Ability to Walk

Limb Preservation (sometimes referred to as “limb salvage”) is the science and practice of preserving the ability to walk, by the safest and most effective means possible.

Each Patient is Unique

There is no one-size-fits-all for limb salvage. Amputation, re-vascularization, reconstruction, debridement, or any of several other procedures, interventions, evaluations, studies, or management, can be absolutely the right thing to do. The uniqueness of each patient’s anatomy, physiology, and disease process must be kept in mind, because what is absolutely the right thing to do for one patient, might be the completely wrong thing to do for another patient, due to different problems. Not all lower leg disease is created equal! A particular pathology that may seem similar between patients may require a dissimilar approach, because of subtle differences.

Limb Preservation is Multi-Disciplinary

There is no discipline that can manage every aspect of Limb Preservation. Preserving the lower extremities and the ability to walk can involve Wound Care, Vascular Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Podiatric Surgery, as well as specialists in the fields of Infectious Disease, Endocrinology, Oncology, and Rehabilitative Medicine.

Where to Start?

Navigating the modern health care system has been likened to walking a tight rope, over a minefield, while wearing flip flops. Mistakes in the diagnosis or treatment of patients with a threatened limb can be devastating, with life-long consequences. Choosing a provider who can treat the problem, manage complications, and track appropriate referrals is the most important decision a person with a threatened limb can make.

Finding a Navigator

You or your loved one will need someone to guide you through the minefield. Whoever you choose will need to have access to all the subspecialties, and most importantly be able to track your progress throughout. At NOVA Wound Care, you will meet your provider at your first visit, and that person will guide you throughout your journey. Every subspecialist will report to this provider, and this same person will meet with your regularly to discuss your progress and concerns.

360 Degree Care

At NOVA Wound Care, we practice 360 Care. Simply put, this means that care follows the patient, rather than the patient having to chase the care. Our clinicians have privileges at local hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities, so we never lose track of our patients.

Is Surgery Needed to Save My Leg?

Surgery plays a large role in Limb Preservation. Broadly speaking, surgery for Limb Preservation falls into three categories: Revascularization, Revitalization, and Reconstruction.

  • Revascularization is the restoration of blood flow. This is done through a variety of interventions, including minimally invasive (using catheters placed inside the blood vessel), and traditional open techniques (through a skin incision).
  • Revitalization is the removal of “devitalized” (dead or dying) tissue, and promoting growth of new tissue. The most common method is debridement (surgical removal of dead tissue) and dressing care with advanced dressings.
  • Reconstruction is the rebuilding of any large defect. This can involve a skin graft, reconstruction of the skin and local tissue, or complete relocation of vascularized muscle tissue.

If one or both feet have begun to hurt, there are wounds or ulcers present, or it is becoming hard to walk to due pain or deformity, then surgery is more likely. The most commonly needed procedures can be done in the office, or at the hospital on an outpatient basis. When none of the above are possible, or when they have been tried and failed, amputation becomes necessary.

Getting Started

The legs and the ability to walk can be threatened by Peripheral Arterial Disease (blocked arteries), Diabetes, Trauma, Cancer, Bony Deformities, Infection, Wounds, Ulcers, or any combination of these. All of the tissues in our bodies require oxygen. The first step is to ensure proper blood flow. All Limb Preservation workups begin in our Fairfax office, with a simple exam of the feet and legs. What happens next depends on what we find. Each step of the way, your provider will be checking in with you, staying with you throughout your journey.

Whether you are having lower leg pain, or have a wound that won’t heal, or swollen legs, or any other problem with your legs or feet, give us a call, and let us help you find the right treatment path. 

To schedule your appointment at NOVA Wound Care, PC, call the office nearest you or book online today.