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Sophie’s story: bouncing back from osteomyelitis

Sophie in hospital
01 March 2022
Let us introduce you to Sophie from Sheffield. She’s recently undergone two surgeries but is now back on the mend!
12-year-old Sophie initially visited our Emergency Department (ED) in February 2020 after suffering from pain in her leg for some time. Following a series of tests, it was found that part of her femur – the large bone in your thigh – was infected. Soon after, a biopsy confirmed that Sophie had osteomyelitis.
Osteomyelitis is a painful bone infection, and like in Sophie’s case, it usually occurs in the legs. If it’s caught early, osteomyelitis can be treated solely with antibiotics. It can also require surgery in some instances and at the end of last year Sophie visited our theatres where the infected part of the femur was removed and antibiotic-loaded rod placed instead.
Sophie osteomyelitis scanEarly in 2022, Sophie also needed a bone graft – taken from her hip bones – to repair the area fully.
Sophie’s mum, Danielle said: “Sophie was very sporty when she was younger; she enjoyed swimming, trampolining, gymnastics and dancing. She hasn’t done any of these for a number of years due to the pain she suffered in her leg.
“The two operations she has now had will hopefully give her a pain-free life. She will be able to sleep which will improve her mood overall, and she will be able to engage in sports activities without the fear of being in pain too.”
Sheffield Children’s hosts the largest Metabolic Bone Disease Service of its kind in Western Europe, with children coming from across the UK and around the world for specialist care. After being under our care for a while, Danielle and Sophie have met quite a few of our teams around the Trust.
Danielle said: “I’d like to thank Sheffield Children’s from the bottom of my heart. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you all, from the ED Department who found the infection on Sophie’s first X-Ray, to the orthopaedic doctors who looked after Sophie when she had her biopsy. Then the Ward 2 staff who took care of Sophie on a number of occasions.
“A thank you as well to the nurses who carried out her blood tests for being patient, understanding and so caring when taking blood – especially Rachel. Sophie was a nervous wreck, but Rachel went above and beyond to help Sophie overcome her fear. She is now able to go to blood tests without having severe anxiety about them.
“Thank you also to the Pain Team, Infectious Diseases Team and finally Mr James Fernandes, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and his team who listened to our concerns as parents and acted with such care and compassion. We knew we were in safe hands from the beginning.”
Danielle plans to take her support for Sheffield Children’s by signing up for a skydive later in the year, so you might be hearing from her again.
We really appreciate you sharing your story Sophie – we hope you’re back on the trampoline, dancefloor and in the pool again soon!

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