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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Bone Infection

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Our services

The model of care in the Bone Infection Unit is multidisciplinary.

There is close working between orthopaedic surgeons with specific expertise in limb reconstruction and infection, and infectious diseases physicians co-ordinating the medical aspects of care.

All patients have access to a whole team of experienced nurses and therapists, to dedicated musculoskeletal imaging and pathology, and to a junior medical team resident on the Unit and overseen by the Infectious Diseases Consultant.

Certain patients also require plastic surgery to close complex wounds, and, whenever possible, this is done as a combined operation with the orthopaedic surgeons. Combined radiology and clinical meetings ensure coordinated management.

In addition to plastic surgery for soft tissue reconstruction, the Unit offers the Ilizarov method for complex limb reconstruction through two surgeons, Mr Martin McNally and Mr David Stubbs. The former also has extensive experience, as a senior orthopaedic trainee in Northern Ireland, of managing military injuries. There is a specialist Ilizarov nurse, who provides accessible telephone support to patients undergoing Ilizarov reconstruction. 

The Unit offers an outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT) service to permit intravenous antibiotics to be given safely, if need be for several weeks, outside the hospital setting. Again, a specialist nursing team supports this treatment.

Patients with bone and joint infection have to deal with many psychological issues, including the varied circumstances in which the infection was acquired, and their experiences in the heathcare system since that point (often in other hospitals). They may have ongoing pain, disability, open wounds, and actual or feared limb loss or other disfigurement.  Unit staff are experienced in providing support to patients undergoing a wide range of emotional responses to their difficulties, and in identifying those requiring more specialist psychological help.

Conditions

To see a list of conditions the Bone Infection Unit (BIU) may be able to treat, please click on the link below:

Procedures

This section gives information on treatments that can be done as an outpatient and those that usually need to be undertaken as an inpatient (stay in hospital).

Garden

There is a garden area exclusively for the use of patients of the Bone Infection Unit.