Lower limb surgery performed at Helsinki Hospital is typically related to an injury or disorder and requires both plastic surgery and orthopedic expertise in addition to vascular surgery. Examples include ulcer complications following lower limb fractures and surgery of the Achilles tendon, as well as deformities of limbs and scar problems caused by an injury or disease. Some nerve damage, for example, or spasticity related to neurological disorders can cause foot deformity that can be treated with tendon balancing surgery.
Foot deformities related to diabetic neuropathy may also benefit from ossification surgery correcting the attitude or from tendon balancing procedures.
If none of the other possible corrective procedures, nor the use of aids, provides sufficient relief, lower limb amputation can improve the functional capacity and the quality of life of the patient. A decision to amputate should always be given thorough consideration, both by the patient and the attending physicians. The level of amputation is always determined individually. It is affected by blood circulation, the function of the remaining tissue, and the rehabilitation capacity of the patient after the amputation. In patients with diabetes, part of the foot is saved whenever possible and if circulation is estimated to be sufficient.
Problems after amputation of a limb include skin problems (excessive or lack of soft tissue) and pain related to localized nerve scarring that can impede the use of a prosthesis. These problems can often be treated surgically if adjustment of the prosthesis is not sufficient.