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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
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Reconstructive Surgery (Feet)

In the lower extremities, surgical procedures are available to assist wounds to heal or as reconstructive procedures to prevent ulceration.  Open wounds with non-viable tissue often require surgical debridement, including debridement of infected bone in osteomyelitis.  Once a wound is devoid of all non-viable tissue, skin grafts or flaps may aid in wound healing.  Rigid bony deformities with high-pressure areas may be corrected by either arthrodesis or osteotomy.  Correction of toe deformities, such as claw-toe, may prevent ulceration in high-pressure areas.  Tendon transfers are available to rebalance a paralytic foot, such as posterior tibialis transfer for foot drop. Tendon release procedures, such as a tendo Achilles lengthening, will help reduce high-pressure areas.  Amputation may be required for uncontrollable sepsis, an avascular extremity or when function will be increased by prosthetic usage.