Limb Preservation Clinic
Expert Care for Complex Limb and Foot Problems
Am I at Risk for Amputation?
If you have diabetes, vascular disease (a condition that affects blood vessels and circulation) or peripheral artery disease (PAD), you may be at risk for amputation if these conditions are not well controlled. If your doctor has told you that you have ischemia (very poor blood flow) or neuropathy (nerve damage to your feet or legs), your risk may be even higher. You also may be at risk due to other problems, such as pressure sores, accidents, leg swelling and infection.
Can I Reduce My Risk of Amputation?
You can reduce your risk of amputation by taking the following steps:
- Stay as healthy as possible and get regular check-ups. If you have diabetes or a vascular disease such as PAD, you should eat a proper diet, exercise regularly, and control your blood sugar, blood pressure and lipids. Learn about proper hygiene and foot care, and have regular check-ups by your doctor and foot exams by a foot specialist.
- Get wounds treated right away. If a wound develops, do not wait to seek treatment; see a podiatrist or a wound care center right away so specialists can help prevent complications and speed healing.
- If a wound doesn’t heal, seek help from the Limb Preservation Clinic. Wounds that fail to heal require immediate attention from our team of specialists, who will do everything they can to save your limb.
A Team Approach to Limb-Saving Treatment
The ChristianaCare Limb Preservation Clinic brings together specialists from many clinical areas with the goal of treating and saving limbs. Working together, we offer a highly coordinated and personalized approach to care that may save limbs in patients who would otherwise face amputation and permanent disability. Our team includes vascular surgeons, podiatrists, endocrinologists, cardiologists, orthopaedic surgeons, infectious disease specialists, plastic surgeons, neurologists, and interventional radiologists.
Every Minute Counts
People with health problems, such as diabetes, vascular diseases and PAD, need to act fast if these conditions lead to serious problems of their lower legs and feet. It is important to get help right away if you notice any of the following:
- Wounds or ulcers that won’t heal.
- Gangrene (death of tissue).
- Poor blood circulation.
- Neuropathy (numbness caused by nerve damage).
- Severe cramping in the legs after exercise.
Contact the ChristianaCare Limb Preservation Clinic, where doctors will work with your primary care physician, podiatrist or other doctor to create a treatment plan that may save your limb. They also will teach you how to identify future problems with your feet and legs before they become medical emergencies.
How We Can Help
At the Limb Preservation Clinic, you get immediate access to a wide range of services needed to prevent amputation:
- Special blood flow tests in one of the largest, state-of-the-art vascular laboratories in the Delaware Valley.
- Advanced imaging, such as CT angiography, MRI, radionuclide scan.
- Tests of nerve function, metabolism and infection.
- Biomechanical and podiatric tests, including gait analysis.
Once the cause of your problem has been diagnosed, your physician will discuss with you the treatment options available. Options may include:
- Minimally invasive procedures to restore blood flow, such as balloon angioplasty, stents and laser.
- Traditional surgery.
- Drug therapy to improve blood flow.
- Intensive antibiotic therapy to stop infections.
- Wound care, including dressing, debridement (removal of dead tissue), incisions, compression, and oxygen therapy.
- Foot-sparing partial amputations and reconstructive surgery.
- Skin grafting following debridement.
- Experimental therapies, such as stem cell and gene therapy, bone marrow stimulation, devices and chemotherapy.
We may use a combination of these treatments to save your limb or foot. Every patient is different, and we will review your medical history and conduct a physical exam and additional testing to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Our doctors will remain involved in your followup testing, treatment and rehabilitation. We will work with your primary care physician, podiatrist and others involved in your care – including family members – to ensure healing and help you avoid problems with limb-threatening ischemia.
For more information or to schedule an appointment right away, please contact the ChristianaCare Limb Preservation Clinic at 302-733-3038 or 855-473-8346, and choose option 2.
Center for Heart & Vascular Health
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Suite 1E20
Newark, DE 19718
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday
To schedule an appointment, call:
302-733-3038, option 2
855-473-8346, option 2
Most patients can be seen within 24 business hours and sometimes on the same day. You do not need a doctor’s referral.