Mr Rhidian Morgan-Jones, an orthopaedic consultant surgeon who specialises in knee surgery at the Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence, Spire Cardiff Hospital and the University Hospital of Wales Cardiff, has been presented with the Laing and Buisson award for Medical Practice for his research in the field of Osteomyelitis.
Osteomyelitis means infection of bone. Once an infection is introduced into a bone, joint or joint replacement it is impossible to cure by antibiotics alone and can lead to a chronic infection that lasts months or sometimes years, unless adequately treated by the correct surgical management. Osteomyelitis can occur after trauma, surgery and joint replacement but remains relatively uncommon in the UK although it is a significant problem in developing countries.
In joint replacement surgery specifically, infection rates can vary from 0.25% to over 2%, however, this rate increases significantly for those patients who have experienced trauma. Whilst the initial soft tissue infection can be managed relatively easily, the chronic infected joint replacement or osteomyelitis (bone infection) can be much more difficult.
At Spire Cardiff Hospital a strategy for the management of osteomyelitis and joint infection has been developed to offer patients everywhere a chance of eradicating this problem. The provision of supra-specialist care by Mr Rhidian Morgan-Jones, an orthopaedic surgeon uniquely trained in the management of infection, coupled with the support of all hospital departments has meant that patients can be managed successfully and given hope of eradicating this chronic condition. The key to success has been the development of specialised surgical techniques that have developed over time. This has enables us to now offer ‘Cardiff solutions’, such as one-stage operation, rather than the previous two-stage, which resulted in patients having a prolonged stay in hospital and two operations. Additionally, we are now also able to offer day-case surgery, rather than 3-6 weeks hospitalisation for radical debridement of osteomyelitis.
Mr Morgan Jones states ‘This has been possible to achieve due to the team based approach within the Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence. Our multi-disciplinary approach to delivering individual care to each patient is paramount to the overall success. At Spire Cardiff Hospital we have a full range of resources available from Radiologists, Microbiologists, Pharmacists, Specialist Anaesthetists, Nurses and Physiotherapists which allows us the ability to treat even the most challenging of cases’.
Mrs Elizabeth Corbett who is originally from Zimbabwe, is one of Mr Morgan-Jones’s patients who recently underwent a revision knee replacement for her bone infection at Spire Cardiff Hospital. She states ‘my infection started very simply, after I underwent a routine orthopaedic operation for my anterior cruciate ligament in Africa. Having been diagnosed with this infection in 2005 I have undergone 36 operations in total, including a full knee replacement and fusion of the knee joint. I was beginning to wonder whether I would actually get better. Then my surgeon in London sent me to his colleague who suggested an amputation. I knew there must be a better solution and contacted my original surgeon in Zimbabwe who recommended Mr Morgan- Jones. I emailed him asking if he could help me and received a reply form Mr Morgan-Jones immediately. It is very early days, but my movement is much better and the physiotherapy is helping enormously. I’m hoping this will be the very last of the operations. I am very grateful to Mr Morgan-Jones for what he has been able to do for me’.
Sarah Lloyd-Davies Head of Clinical Services at Spire Cardiff Hospital says ‘I am immensely proud that Mr Morgan-Jones has won this prestigious award. This is a very exciting time for us clinically, we are constantly striving to improve clinical care for patients and I felt it was important to support Mr Morgan-Jones with his on-going research. The whole idea surrounding the Centre of Excellence approach that we have developed at Spire Cardiff Hospital is that we have three key themes; delivering excellent patient care, education and research. The involvement in this clinical data allows us to proactively implement changes ensuring our patients receive the best possible care.
To date, the research in association with the University Hospital of Wales, has enabled Mr Morgan-Jones to establish an osteomyelitis database with over 130 patients that have received treatment for chronic orthopaedic infection, which in many cases has been resistant to standard treatment. Reviewing patients and collecting outcome measures has allowed Mr Morgan-Jones to establish the largest single surgeon osteomyelitis database in the UK. Analysis of patient outcomes thus far has revealed that 80% of these chronic cases are disease free at 2-5 years post intervention.
For further information or to arrange a consultation with Mr Morgan-Jones call our Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence appointment bookings team on 029 2073 1112.