What is a hemipelvectomy?

Those who have had a hemipelvectomy can sometimes learn to walk again using prosthetics.

A hemipelvectomy is a surgical procedure in which a leg and part of the pelvis are removed. The scope of a hemipelvectomy can vary, with some procedures involving the removal of half of the pelvis, while others require the removal of less than half. This surgery can be very traumatic for the patient and is used as a last resort; when the surgeon recommends hemipelvectomy, that is, he thinks it is necessary for the patient.

The use of crutches may be helpful after a hemipelvectomy.

This is one of the rarest amputations. Patients typically receive a hemipelvectomy because of cancer that cannot be treated otherwise, or because of a traumatic accident, such as a crush injury on a factory floor or a serious car accident. In a traumatic hemipelvectomy, the patient’s pelvis and leg may have been so badly damaged that the surgeon feels they cannot be reconnected and that the patient would be better off amputating and avoiding the risk of infection.

Individuals who have had a hemipelvectomy may benefit from participating in support groups.

In some cases, the surgeon may perform an internal hemipelvectomy, also known as a “limb salvage” procedure. In this case, part of the pelvis is removed, but the limb remains intact, and the surgeon can implant an artificial joint or prosthesis. The level of functionality for the patient after this procedure can vary, with some patients experiencing complete loss of limb use, while others may be able to retain some function. Surgeons also need to monitor the site should the need for a complete amputation arise.

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Hemipelvectomy is one of the rarest amputations.

In a bilateral hemipelvectomy, both limbs are removed. Another procedure, known as hip disarticulation, involves the total removal of the leg at the hip joint, with the pelvis intact. In some cases, part of the hip joint may be left in place for stabilization or comfort. This procedure is also very traumatic for the patient and may require a long recovery time.

Some patients are able to regain limited function in the affected limb after an internal hemipelvectomy.

After a hemipelvectomy, the patient is usually encouraged to attend physical therapy. Patients can learn to walk with crutches or prostheses and can enjoy a high level of freedom of movement rather than being confined to a wheelchair or bed. Recovery rates vary depending on the patient, the need for amputation, and the amputation procedure itself. Patients who have undergone hemipelvectomies can sometimes benefit from joining a support group that provides information on everything from tips and tricks for patients living without a leg to a friendly person to talk to.

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