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Is it rational to remove my father's dead bone?

Q: My 57 years old father with an accident two months back. He had multiple leg fractures in tubia and underwent bone grafting. Ever since he has got bone grafting done, he feels uneasy, feverish and nauseate. The orthopaedic surgeon has also removed that plate. His WBC count has been consistently high after the operations. The doctor now suggests removing the dead bone as bone culture shows Pseudomonas. Can we sacrifice the dead or infected bone?

A:It is obvious from your description that your father had osteomyelitis or infection in the bones. It is good that the doctors have removed the plate that is inserted and also they are right in suggesting that any dead bone must be removed. This may look radical in the beginning but the only way an infection can be eliminated by doing radical clearing of all dead bone followed by reconstruction of bone and the one of the best methods in this category is called the Ilizarov technique named after the Russian surgeon who first did the procedure. With Ilizarov technique most patients do well and the limb length shortening can also be compensated with this. The results of Ilizarov technique are very good. I would not recommend antibiotics unless there is fear or any other constitutional symptoms. Most patients eventually do get cured.

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