Thousands of accident and lower limb malignancy victims can be saved from leg amputation every year with comprehensive lower-limb reconstruction: Amrita Doctors

· The patients have to reach a hospital in time, which has properly equipped lower-limb reconstruction unit with a multidisciplinary team.

· Doctors of Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, have saved legs of six patients from amputation in the last one year.

FARIDABAD / September 5, 2023: Road accidents and diseases like cancer, especially sarcoma, are responsible for thousands of leg amputations in India every year. However, majority of such people could have got their leg saved had they quickly reached a hospital equipped with a multi-disciplinary, lower-limb reconstruction team. This was said by reconstructive surgeons of Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, at the facility’s Lower Limb Reconstruction Center.

Said Dr. Mohit Sharma, Sr. Consultant, Professor, & HoD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad: Thousands have their legs mangled in road collisions every year and the unfortunate part is that most of them are young people. The incidence of post-traumatic amputation also is high due to lack of on-the-spot stabilization and delay in getting treatment. Even when the patient reaches a trauma centre in time, the rate of disability is high because of lack of specialized surgeons. However, much of this morbidity can be avoided.”

He added: “Latest microsurgical techniques have made it possible to save limbs of a patient through reconstruction. There are two important factors in saving the legs of a road accident or trauma victim from amputation. The first is to take the patient to a hospital as quickly as possible after trauma injury. The second is to shift them quickly, once they have been stabilized, to a tertiary care centre that has multidisciplinary lower limb reconstruction facility with specialists like, and microvascular plastic and reconstructive surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, vascular surgeons, critical care specialists and experienced anesthetists.”

Said Dr. Mrinal Sharma, HoD, Orthopaedics, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad: “If prompt attention is not given, trauma victims often lose their legs to amputation, mostly below the knee joint. This is because the tissue and muscles of the affected part become dead by the time the right treatment is provided. If there is bone loss, a vascularized bone graft needs to be used. If this is also not possible, then the surgeon can do the bone transport by specialised techniques. Lower limb reconstruction in mangled extremity is a very complex procedure that can’t be done at a small hospital.”

Said Dr. Sahil Gaba, Consultant and Assistant Professor, Orthopaedics, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad: “Road accidents are the most common cause of amputation, with people riding two-wheelers the most susceptible to losing their legs in mishaps. Most of the victims are young males. Railway accidents and machine cuts are also responsible for large number of leg amputations in India, apart from medical causes like tumors of the lower limbs. Traumatic limb amputation has significant morbidity and mortality, and one must do everything to avoid it if reconstruction of the limb is possible.”

Said Dr. Mohit Sharma: “In the last one year, we have done six cases of lower limb reconstruction, at Amrita Hospital and all have been salvaged and 4 patients have even started walking”.

Out of the six patients whose lower limbs were saved at Amrita Hospital, four were victims of trauma while the other two suffered from sarcoma of the leg.

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