Bone Infection

The management of bone infections or osteomyelitis is challenging due to poor blood supply to normal bone and virtually non-existent blood supply to injured bones. Antibiotics can only penetrate infection through blood supply leading to this particular problem. In the absence of fractures, infection can be treated by removal of infected bone (or debridement) followed by reconstruction if there is sufficient bone remaining. If a whole bone is involved, it may need removal and a new bone may be created using the Ilizarov technique. In the case of infected fractures, the primary treatment often involves removal of any metalwork and stabilising the site by another method until healed. In rare cases, it may be possible to retain internal fixation if it is effective and suppress the infection until fraction union and then remove the implants as soon as viable.

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    Katherine Butler is the hand therapist for The London Orthopaedic Clinic and is based at King Edward VII’s Hospital. She was presented to HRH The Prince of Wales at The Royal Society of Musicians as he opened the Society’s new building in London. Katherine is an Honorary Associate Professor at UCL and Plymouth University and […]