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Limb Salvage and Reconstruction

If you have a limb injury or wound that’s not healing well — or you’ve been told you might need an amputation — you should seek care from our limb salvage experts.

VCU Health is home to one of the country’s leading limb salvage and reconstruction programs. As a Level I Trauma Center, we are equipped to handle the most complex cases and regularly transfer patients from other hospitals into our care. We’ve successfully helped many people who developed serious complications after an injury, cancer, childhood deformities or previous treatment. And we routinely provide second opinions to patients who were told limb amputation is their only option. Our team’s expertise and collaborative approach has resulted in a 98% success rate in avoiding amputation.

Who Should See a Limb Salvage and Reconstruction Specialist?

Without proper treatment, certain illnesses and injuries can damage (and make it harder to use) your arms, hands, elbows, shoulders, hips, legs, or feet.

You should schedule an appointment with one of our specialists if you have any of the following:

  • A broken bone that won’t heal
  • A previous broken bone that healed incorrectly, leaving you with a crooked limb or limbs that are different lengths
  • An open wound that won’t heal, especially if it’s on your foot or lower leg and you’ve had it for longer than one month
  • Nerve pain or loss of sensation caused by an injury or a medical condition (such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease)
  • Tissue damage caused by severe burns

Our goal is to help you regain limb function and remain independent, no matter how severe your condition.

What to Expect

We’re not just here to help you avoid limb amputation — we focus on restoring your quality of life. Limb reconstruction can help you improve strength, movement, sensation and blood flow. We can also improve the appearance of scar tissue and other cosmetic problems.

A team approach

Making repairs to skin, bones, muscles, nerves and blood vessels is a complex process that usually involves two or more specialists. When you have limb reconstruction surgery, your team may include providers who specialize in:

Before your surgery

Whether you were referred to our team by your provider or you’re independently seeking a second option, we’re here to walk with you through this journey.

Most patients need 2-3 appointments before surgery, each lasting up to one hour. You’ll meet with one of our orthopaedic surgeons as well as a plastic surgeon. And you’ll need to undergo an X-ray or another type of imaging procedure.

If you need extra wound care or any other treatments before surgery, we’ll refer you to our specialists in other departments who can help.

After your surgery

Depending on the complexity of your condition, you may need more than one surgery. If this is the case, we’ll coordinate your procedures back-to-back over several days or weeks, so you only have to stay in the hospital once.

If you need more than one surgery, your hospital stay could last from 1-3 weeks.

Once you’re ready to go home, we’ll help coordinate any services you might need to improve recovery, including:

Our Providers

Tae Woon Chong, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Brian Q Le, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery