How Would You Treat This Cavity? – Angola Day 24

July 27th, 2012 by INMED

Bone Cavity


The photo above is the upper tibia of Ezekiel – the mature man with an open fracture of his upper tibia, now 6 weeks old. The black cavity is the space from where four days earlier we excised the necrotic bone of osteomyelitis. What’s left is a thin remnant of bone on the posterior surface of his tibia. The white curved object on the back of his leg is the plaster splint


How would you treat this cavity? On the most superficial level, it needs daily packing and dressing changes, IV antibiotic, and nutritional support. Later on, a bone graft and tenacious physical therapy are in views.


But on this day, my final in Angola for 2012, let us explore this cavity more deeply. What can be done to prevent the malnutrition and injuries that set Ezekiel up for such an infection? What intervention could be effective against the cavernous void of medical care the allowed his infection to progress unabated? And from where will come the significant resources needed to make this man whole again?


An initial answer to these voids is to be found in people like you; people who are informed, whose hearts are touched, and who are compelled to take action on behalf of those whom the world has forgotten.