“Our aim is to support the recovery and rehabilitation of our limb reconstruction patients”
– Sarah Phillips, Chairman of Rebuild

Aims of the Charity
Rebuild was set up to support the large number of patients with congenital and acquired limb deformity who are treated at King’s College Hospital’s Limb Reconstruction Unit. Treatment for such deformity is often prolonged and requires a good deal of courage.

The unit also looks after many patients with fractures that will not heal with the first line treatment and who often suffer greatly. Typically these patients are men in heavy physical jobs, soldiers on active service and motorcyclists, but may also be victims of minor accidents or unfortunate bone breaks, male or female. Most are aged 20 – 50. The most common fractured bone in this group of patients is the tibia (shin bone) due to the relative exposure and poor soft tissue cover.

Treatment is painful and can take many months or even years, with multiple operations frequent. Job losses, financial pressure, loss of mobility and break down of relationships are all too common; inability to walk or drive leads to reduced independence, and increased reliance on others. Loss of self-esteem is not surprising, and clinical depression follows in some cases.

 

Patients in this group have overall scores of patient well-being (such as the SF36 and NHP) showing consistently very poor results.

About the Limb Reconstruction Unit at King’s College Hospital
Rebuild was set up to support the large number of patients with congenital and acquired limb deformity who are treated at King’s College Hospital’s Limb Reconstruction Unit. Treatment for such deformity is often prolonged and requires a good deal of courage.

This Limb Reconstruction Service calls on the expertise of these surgeons, but also on two full-time specialist nurses, one full-time specialist physiotherapist,specialised theatre staff and equipment, and surgeons in training getting insight into this emerging sub-speciality.

 

Surgeons in this field from across the UK have a specialist society, under the auspices of the British Orthopaedic Association (BOA). called the British Limb Reconstruction Society (BLRS) and the surgeons at KCH are all members. The BRLS organises annual meetings to discuss issues relating to this field, and present papers from similar centres.

 

KCH’s Orthopaedic Department, as one of the busiest tertiary units in the UK, was an ideal base to set up Rebuild. The charity has received considerable support from the surgeons and patients. and from many volunteers.

How has the Limb Reconstruction Service at KCH developed?

Graeme Groom began the service in 1993 when he was appointed at King’s. Six patients with Ilizarov frames came with him from his previous consultant appointment at the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital.

In 1996 Phil Steen was appointed as Clinical Nurse Specialist and Sarah Phillips was appointed with an interest in limb reconstruction in 1998. Mark Philips (no longer at KCH) and Om Lahoti joined in 2003. Both came from other consultant appointments. Debbie Bond replaced Phil Steen in 2003.

 

How other units address this need

There are very few limb reconstruction units in the UK. KCH may now be one of the largest, but there are other established units around the country. There are also surgeons working in isolation in other hospitals.

 

The British Orthopaedic Association Survey reveals that fewer that 1096 of all consultant orthopaedic surgeons declare trauma as a special interest. Limb reconstruction is a subspecialty within trauma. and an even smaller number of surgeons are available to address the needs of limb reconstruction patients.

Trustees
Toby Colegate-Stone

Consultant Orthopaedic and trauma Surgeon, KCH

Sarah Phillips

Co-chariman (clinical)
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, KCH

Graeme Groom

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, KCH

Debbie Bond

Limb Reconstruction Nurse, KCH

Matthew Gee

Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon

Tony Bertin

Legal adviser and patient member

Penny Hays

HR adviser and patient member

Phil Steen

Matron,
KCH

Michael Mitchell

Treasurer and member of KCH Board of Governors

Paul Flintoff

Patient Member

Major Leigh Roberts

Patient Member

Susan Sawyer

Company Secretary
(non-trustee)

Nicky Hutchison

Admin and Website
Manager (non-trustee)

Nicky