Bone deformity after injury and infection

Osteomyelitis and non-union

Our leading paediatric consultants can treat bone deformities using cutting-edge technology and advanced treatments

What is bone deformity?

Bone deformities can be caused by injury and infection, as well as congenital deformities. Bone infection (osteomyelitis) can be caused by trauma and can break down a child's bones leaving them misshapen and prone to breaking. Unhealed fractures (non-union) caused by trauma can cause misaligned bones and false joints.

Need to know

  • Why does bone deformity occur? icon plus

    Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bones which can cause permanent damage in children. The infection, which can be caused by trauma to a long bone such as the femur, can cause damage to individual bones and spread to the nearby joints. Bones are weakened as a result and affected joints and limbs may become misshapen. If the bone is very damaged, it may need to be amputated.

    Unhealed fractures may also cause bone deformity in the form of unstable 'false joints' or dents in the bone. These areas cause persistent pain and poor bloody supply.
  • How is a bone infection diagnosed? icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your child's symptoms with you and help to make a diagnosis. The most reliable way to diagnose bone infection is to take a fluid sample and biopsy from the infected bone. This will confirm the infection and enable your consultant to treat the problem.

    An unhealed fracture is best diagnosed through X-ray and MRI scans, which display surrounding tissue and soft bones. A sequence of X-rays may be compared over time to confirm that the fracture isn't healing.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Deformities caused by osteomyelitis may need to be treated with surgery. First, pockets of bacteria within the bone are drained, and damaged bone is removed by a process called debridement. This can lead to bone and soft tissue loss, so the bone is then stabilised with bone graft or cement.

    Deformities caused by unhealed fractures are treated with bone grafts or straightened with metal implants such as cages, rods and screws (internal or external fixation). These are removed when the fracture has healed.

Our orthopaedic consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts who specialise in different areas of the body including the spine, hip, pelvis and knee, foot and ankle, the shoulder, hand and wrist.
Consultant in theatres

Our locations

From complex orthopaedic surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional paediatric care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an orthopaedic appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with an experienced orthopaedic or sports medicine consultant. We can also arrange imaging and outpatient physiotherapy appointments.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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