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Bone loss, or a bone defect, is where bone is missing. Bone loss can be caused by an accident, tumour or by bone infection. In some cases, people who have bone loss also have injuries to the soft tissue surrounding the bone.
Where there is a great deal of bone loss, there may be non-union of joints (where the bones don’t meet or function correctly), and there may also be infection and differences in limb length so you may also need to have lower limb deformity correction.
What does treatment involve?
Treatment can involve a bone graft, where bone is taken from another part of your body, or using donor bone. Mr Heidari may also use a technique known as ‘bone transport’, using an external fixator, or frame, to move existing bone and try to grow new bone in the space where it’s been removed.
You can help improve the outcome of surgery by attending a pre-assessment screening where you’ll have blood tests to check for levels of Vitamin D and swabs to rule out infection or other problems. You’ll also be weighed and have an opportunity to discuss your medical history. This is important so that any anaesthetics problems can be identified.
Please note: it’s important to stop smoking at least eight weeks before your procedure; this is because smoking can affect the body’s ability to heal and causes health problems including an increased risk of blood clots forming in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or calf (deep vein thrombosis).
What can I do to speed up my recovery?
Make sure you follow any advice about keeping the wounds clean and dry, and carry out the exercises advised by your physiotherapist as these will help you to return to your normal activities as quickly as possible.
Please note: it’s important to avoid smoking or taking anti-inflammatory painkillers as these can slow the healing process.
What are the risks of surgery?
- All surgery carries risks. With this type of surgery, risks include a small chance of infection which can be treated with antibiotics
- There is a small chance of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) following any surgery, although this is unusual following this type of surgery. However, you may be given blood-thinning medication after surgery as a precaution or if you are at higher risk. You will also be given support socks and exercises to reduce the chances of DVT