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      Acute infections after fracture repair: management with hardware in place.

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          Abstract

          Managing infections in fractures treated with open reduction and internal fixation is an ongoing dilemma. Little published data exist to support the current practice of treating these infections with retained hardware, irrigation, débridement, and antibiotic suppression. We evaluated the effectiveness of this approach. We identified potential subjects from a central trauma database and selected them based on chart review and specific inclusion and exclusion criteria. We divided the patients into two groups. Patients achieving successful union with original hardware in place were considered as having successful results and patients who required hardware removal before healing were considered to have failed results. Data, including age, gender, tobacco use, diabetic status, site of fracture, Orthopaedic Trauma Association class, open grade, type of fixation, joint involvement, and organism, were gathered and compared between the groups by analysis of variance. Sixty-nine cases were available for analysis. Forty-seven (68%) were successful and 22 (32%) were unsuccessful. Average time to healing was 130 days. Most of the failures occurred within 120 days from the time of injury. Smoking was a major risk factor with a 3.7 times greater likelihood of procedures being unsuccessful per month than procedures among nonsmokers. Treating infected fractures with hardware in place is less successful than widely believed.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Clin. Orthop. Relat. Res.
          Clinical orthopaedics and related research
          0009-921X
          0009-921X
          Feb 2008
          : 466
          : 2
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Plymouth Orthopedics, Duxbury, MA, USA.
          Article
          10.1007/s11999-007-0053-y
          2505119
          18196433
          a421f0a6-fe1a-400c-81a1-152a80951c19
          History

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