Osteoarticular and prosthesis–related infections
The Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc offer a multidisciplinary, coordinated approach to the treatment of bone, joint and joint prosthesis infections.
More than half of osteoarticular infections stem from the fitting of a hip or knee prosthesis. This type of infection can also occur following a fracture or be blood-borne. Every year, the Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc’s Infectious Orthopaedic Surgery Unit treats around 150 cases, including patients from abroad.
Treatment of osteoarticular infections
As they are located in the bones, joints or around the prosthesis, the great majority of these infections require surgical intervention and antibiotics. For them to be cured, both recurrence and antibiotic resistance (1) need to be avoided. Hence the importance of making the right choices and coordinating treatments.
A winning trio
The strength of the Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc’s Infectious Orthopaedic Surgery Unit lies in its multidisciplinary approach:
- In the laboratory, a microbiologist analyses and identifies the germ causing the infection. This is important in order to establish the most appropriate treatment in each case.
- A doctor specialising in infectious diseases (ID specialist) determines the right antibiotic treatment, the correct dose and the correct duration.
- An orthopaedic surgeon specialises in treating and preventing these infections and in cleaning, removing and replacing joint prostheses.
Treatment of osteoarticular infections takes time. There is a risk of recurrence, so appropriate monitoring is essential.
When patients leave hospital, they must first follow a course of antibiotic treatment at home for 3 months. During this period, they must be examined by their doctor each month. If there are no complications or recurrence of infection, monitoring becomes quarterly and continues for 2 years.
Patients are also invited to see their orthopaedic surgeon 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years after their surgery. If there is no recurrence in this 2-year period, the patient is signed off.
(1) Antibiotic resistance means that a bacteria is able to resist one or more antibiotic treatments, making these treatments ineffective.