Functional Reconstruction Surgery: Microsurgical Techniques | Penn Medicine

The Penn Orthoplastic Limb Salvage Center is pioneering techniques for patients at risk for amputation or severe limb impairment. 

Stephen Kovach, III, MD, Co-Director of the Center, explains Penn’s unique microvascular approach to preserving limbs and appendages by moving vascularized tissues and functional muscle to the damaged location and innervating the muscle to regain voluntary control.  

“We’re constantly looking at new ways we can innovate and help patients,” Dr. Kovach explains. “We’ve developed new techniques, pioneered here, that really aren’t offered at other places. Our goal, really, is maximal function — returning patients to the life they want to live.”

Functional reconstruction is a unique area of specialization at the Center, devoted to the restoration of range of movement, weight-bearing capacity, sensation and organic strength in the limbs, hands and feet lost to irregular or aberrant healing processes (scarring, nonunion, malunion) after trauma, or after cancer and its treatment. 

To restore damaged limbs, specialists at the Penn Orthoplastic Limb Salvage Center offer surgical techniques and innovations developed or enhanced at Penn Medicine. Microsurgery, a foundational modality at the Center, is used to perform microvascular perforator flap surgery, free functional muscle transfers and reconstruction of soft tissue and muscle. 

Related Links:

Gracilis Functional Free Muscle Transfer following Brachial Plexus Injury to Restore Upper Extremity Function
Plastic and Reconstructive Microsurgery at Penn Medicine
Complex Limb Reconstruction at the Penn Orthoplastic Limb Salvage Center



June 6, 2019

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