Sepsis

While the main aspect of the units work is dealing with Oncology problems, we also find solutions for patients with severe infections of bone and prostheses. The treatment of these infections is often similar to how to treat a tumour. We work in close association with plastic surgeons and microbiologists to tailor a management plan to clear the infected bone and soft tissue and reconstruct the joint or limb using state of the art implants.

There are various ways in which to treat bone and implant sepsis. The essential steps include:

  1. Remove the source of the infection with a thorough debridement, or cutting away, of infected tissue.

  2. Local and systemic (whole body) administration of antibiotics to clear residual infection. Usually for a period of 6 weeks.

  3. Insertion of appropriate spacer to allow for definitive implants once infection is clear (often these contain antibiotics which elute out into the surrounding tissue to fight any remaining infection).

  4. Confirm the infection has been cleared with clinical examination and blood tests.

  5. Reconstruct the bone or joint using a variety of methods, some of which include bone grafts and implants.

 

It is often a long and difficult road to clear bone and prosthetic infections but if done well and carefully, success rates are high.

What adversely affects outcome:

  • Smoking

    • It is advisable to stop smoking (for general health reasons of course) before surgery to maximise the chances of wound healing and clearing the infection. Smoking restricts the blood supply to the affected area which delivers the antibiotics that are so important in fighting the infection.​

  • Low albumin

    • a good and healthy diet is important for the administration of antibiotics and wound healing.​

Dr Thomas Hilton

Orthopaedic Surgeon

MBChB, DA(SA), DipPEC(SA), FCS(Orth), MMED(UCT)

a. Sessional rooms 2022, Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Alexandra Road, Pinelands, Cape Town, 7405

t. 021 506 4059

e. info@drthilton.com

w. www.drthilton.com

Updated: 22/05/2020