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Limb Lengthening and Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is actually inflammation or swelling of bone tissue as result of an infection. Its a serious condition that can cause part of your bone to die and infection can spread other parts of your body. A bone infection can be caused by a bacteria or a fungus. These germs can get in to your body thru a wound or during surgery. An infection can start in one place in your body and then move thru your blood stream in to your bone.

What are the symptoms of osteomyelitis?

Symptoms of osteomyelitis vary, depending on the cause and whether it is a rapid or slow onset of infection. The following are the most common symptoms of osteomyelitis; however, each individual may experience symptoms differently:

  • Fever (may be high when osteomyelitis occurs as the result of a blood infection)

  • Pain and tenderness in the affected area

  • Irritability in infants who can’t express pain

  • Feeling ill

  • Swelling of the affected area

  • Redness in the affected area

  • Warmth in the affected area

  • Difficulty moving joints near the affected area

  • Difficulty bearing weight or walking

  • A new limp

  • A stiff back (with vertebral involvement)

The symptoms of osteomyelitis may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

How to prevent Osteomyelitis with LON Method?

First of all it is patient's duty to keep his environment and keep his body clean as a patient. If you do not pay attention to staying clean, you may get infection in the exhaust of the pin's. LON patients must be too careful for usage of toilet. Hands must be washed properly after each visit and during the day. Hands plays a major role in spreading infection. Usually curious patients may want to check his wounds but he/she should not do it with bare hands. Antibacterial gloves must be used.

Surgery method plays a major role to avoid getting infection during and after surgery. We leave no room for infection to spread with our surgery method because we do not install the fixator pins and intramedullary nail in the same canal of the bone. So even if patient gets a superfacial infection from his open wounds, that infection can not spread to bone and it can be spotted and treated easily with oral antibiotics and proper dressings.

If your surgeon does not pay attention to location of the fixator pins, this superfacial infection may spread to bone totally. Even if it happens, it shows itself as lysis in the xrays with high fever, nausea and dizziness. But it can be treated with IV and oral antibiotics.

If it leads to total bone infection, it can be cleaned during external fixator removal because it can not be ignored by the surgeon during the surgery. In this case intramedullary nail must be replaced, bone canal must be cleansed and IV Antibiotics should be started after surgery.

If none of these done on time, patient needs to have his infected nail removed, then a broad spectrum antibiotic cement coated nail must be installed to eradicate the infection with IV Antibiotic support.

Shortly Osteomyelitis is a complication that can be avoided with simple preventions during every stage of its development. Its doctor's duty to follow these symptoms. If your surgeon is ignoring your symptoms, we recommend you to check your condition by another specialist ASAP.

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