As one of the leading centres for sternumosteomyelitis and sternum reconstruction, we offer you a wide range of specialist expertise in the treatment of acute and chronic inflammation in the area of the sternum.

What causes sternumosteomyelitis?

A bone infection of the sternum, medically called sternal osteomyelitis, is a rare but very serious complication after heart surgery. It is often associated with a complex inflammation of the surrounding tissue and can lead to extensive bone and soft tissue defects. The cause of the disease is often a bacterial infection of the superficial skin-fat tissue or the deeper located sternum.

Additional concomitant diseases such as diabetes mellitus, overweight, chronic lung diseases and many other factors can favour the development of sternal osteomyelitis after heart surgery.

Our treatment offer

Every year, about 10,000 patients in Germany undergo open heart surgery. If a wound healing disorder occurs after the opening of the chest, first-class specialist medical care is available at our centre.

The treatment includes on the one hand the surgical treatment of the affected tissue and bone areas and on the other hand the effective antibiotic therapy.

Surgical expertise

Surgical treatment of the infection is the basis for successful treatment of sternal osteomyelitis. In order to determine the extent of the infection exactly, we use state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures such as PET-CT.

Detailed anatomical knowledge and a high level of plastic surgery expertise enable us to apply the most modern microsurgical procedures for the treatment of sternal osteomyelitis. The cooperation with the cardiac and thoracic surgeons represented at the clinic ensures a high level of patient safety.

Optimal antibiotic therapy

Supportive antibiotic therapy is carried out in close consultation with the specialists for infectiology, microbiology and the Antibiotic Stewardship. Every day, we assess the course of treatment of each individual patient together with the experts involved. We determine the optimal antibiotic as well as the dosage, administration and the further duration of therapy, which can last several months, individually.

Supraregional centre

The referring clinics include the major heart centres in NRW as well as national hospitals. In the case of particularly severe courses of events, where a transfer is not possible, our surgeons operate on site in the clinics concerned.

The aim is to cure the infection and to cover the resulting wound with plastic surgery. We can thus give back an essential piece of quality of life to affected persons who have often been under treatment for many weeks. We will be happy to inform you about the course of the therapy and the required documents in a personal consultation. It is also possible for the treating colleague to contact us at any time.

Your advantages at a glance

  • High level of expertise due to high case numbers
  • State-of-the-art equipment (e.g. PET-CT)
  • Innovative microsurgical procedures
  • Antibiotic therapy in consultation with experienced experts (antibiotic stewardship)
  • Close cooperation with in-house cardiac and thoracic surgeons
  • Participation in scientific research