Preserving Limbs and Quality of Life

October 6, 2023

man with caneAccording to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 150,000 patients undergo a lower extremity amputation in the United States each year. The Limb Preservation Program at Palmdale Regional Medical Center is designed to help residents of the Antelope Valley and beyond avoid becoming part of this statistic.

With an emphasis on improving quality of life, we focus on early intervention on conditions affecting the legs, feet and toes to prevent limb loss. Our program can help individuals with diabetic foot ulcers, bone infections, leg swelling, surgical wounds, pressure sores, radiation injuries and other injuries to the arteries.

The goal is to preserve the lower limbs of those with conditions including:

  • Atrophied limb
  • Black limb
  • Cellulitis
  • Cold limb
  • Diabetic ulcer
  • Ischemic gangrene
  • Lower limb infection

Our Approach

Patients are typically referred to our Limb Preservation Program through their primary care physician (PCP), a specialist, or an emergency room or wound care center visit.

Patients are then admitted or referred to a hospitalist, and a vascular team, podiatric surgeon and infectious disease specialist collaborate to create a treatment plan.

The very nature of our program requires a multidisciplinary approach, including wound care, cardiology, orthopedics, endocrinology, podiatry and surgery. We provide treatments, including:

  • Full contact casting
  • Rehabilitation therapy
  • Wound care services, including hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT)
  • Wound VAC application and sponge change

Partial amputations and biologic graft application may be performed to promote healing and wound closure. Our inpatient Rehabilitation Institute and outpatient Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Institute (ROI) offer personalized physical and occupational therapy services when it’s time for recovery.

Diabetes and Limb Preservation

Nonhealing wounds are often the cause of the amputation of lower extremities, particularly in patients with diabetes and peripheral artery disease (PAD). The Limb Preservation Program is specially designed to help these patients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that up to 80 percent of lower limb amputations are a result of diabetes.

When it comes to diabetic patients, our program encourages healthy habits like a healthy diet, frequent exercise, blood sugar monitoring, regular foot checks and prompt wound care.

Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine

The team at Palmdale Regional’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine specializes in advanced wound healing and limb salvage by utilizing the latest in skin substitutes, HBOT and wound VAC (vacuum-assisted closure) therapy.

The center features three advanced technology hyperbaric chambers designed to deliver oxygen to the blood and body tissues. This therapy treats chronic, non-healing wounds by increasing the oxygen level in the entire body inside a pressurized environment.

Support for the Whole Patient

Losing a limb impacts patients on many levels – physically, emotionally and socially. That’s why The Limb Preservation Program at Palmdale Regional Medical Center donated $5,625 to Mental Health America®, the nation’s leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of mental health, located in Lancaster, California.

“The body and the mind are one and we cannot heal one without healing the other,” says Kyle Hopkins, DPM, Medical Director of Palmdale Regional’s Limb Preservation Program.