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I consider myself to be a fit and active 44 year old man and my condition began in earnest with a painful knee at the beginning of March 2007. After a month of ineffective over the counter pain killers I visited my GP at the end of March and requested a private consultation with an orthopaedic specialist as I suspected a knee ligament/cartilage problem due to my sporting history. As a result I had an MRI scan on my left knee in early May.
In the meantime further visits to my GP surgery followed due to the growing inflammation around my knee, the uncontrollable sweating episodes, the loss of muscle tone in my calf and thigh due to my restricted mobility and the total ineffectiveness of the prescribed pain killers, (which at the final stage was diclofenac sodium, tramadol and Fentanyl Skin Patches taken in conjunction with each other with no pain relief whatsoever! ).
The orthopaedic surgeon upon viewing the MRI results stated that \"I had a tumour or an infection in my distal (lower) femur and that I would have to have a further urgent NHS funded MRI over the whole area\".
2 extremely anxious weeks passed and I had not had the urgent MRI when I was admitted as en emergency patient due to a high fever and the most unbelievable pain in my left leg.
Numerous tests later and I was diagnosed with chronic femoral osteomyelitis as a result of an unexplained Staphylococcus infection. My CRP count was in excess of 460 at this stage and my recollection of this period is very patchy as a result of the blood infection. I underwent 3 subsequent surgeries in the next week consisting of having a window cut into my femur and having debridement and washing/flushing of the affected areas as well as the use of systemically and locally applied antibiotics needed to eradicate the infection.
I was in hospital for a total of 3.5 weeks and left with an external caliper and crutches to be used as I am 100% non weight bearing on my left leg due to the femoral window. A further 6 week course of antibiotics at home saw my blood results return to normal levels.
So far my general health has improved and initial twice weekly and now monthly follow ups with the surgical team, including x-rays and blood tests are the norm. I continue with daily home physio exercises to improve flexibility in the knee joint and to exercise my muscles in the left leg which have deteriorated drastically due to me being non weight bearing.
However, the window in my femur is regrowing but how long it will take to regrow completely is the 64 million dollar question?
Has anyone any experience of the time the bone regrowth may take? Also has anyone in a similar position applied for Disability Living Allowance and any other applicable benefits?
Good luck and best wishes to anyone who is suffering/has suffered from this dreadful condition.[/img]
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