Serious Injury and Major Limb Trauma
According to the British Orthopaedic Association:
Major limb trauma includes fractures, crushing injuries, dislocations, open wounds, amputations and damage to nerve and blood vessels.
Injury is the leading cause of death up to the age of 45 years.
Road traffic accidents each year in the UK result in:
- 320,000 injuries
- 40,000 serious injuries
- 3,400 deaths.
Individuals who undergo limb reconstruction or amputation following severe trauma to the lower leg fare about the same functionally.
Reconstucting the Limb
Many important factors affect the outcome of reconstructive efforts. One of the primary concerns of patients is time and cost to achieve best result.
There is no doubt that reconstruction requires costly, intensive and prolonged medical treatment. Patients often miss out on their work and recreational activities for over a year and occasionally more than that.
In contrast, early prosthetic treatment offers the potential of a speedier return to full function at a much lower initial cost
Improving the Success of the Treatment
Unfortunately, not every salvaged limb becomes functional to the patient's satisfaction and late amputations occur in approximately 20%.
Deformities of the feet and toes are common as is knee stiffness and instability: Patients may suffer from infection and chronic pain and limb length inequality is a common problem associated with severely mangled extremities.
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Adapting the Frame
The following webpage has advice on clothing for patients with an Ilizarov frame: