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      Initial peri- and postoperative antibiotic treatment of infected nonunions: results from 212 consecutive patients after mean follow-up of 34 months

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          Infected nonunions of the long bones belong to the most feared complications in the field of orthopedic and trauma surgery. Optimal antibiotic therapy should start early with the first revision surgery. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate our peri- and postoperative antibiotic regime in context with the microbial spectrum and antibiotic resistances of patients with infected nonunions and to assess the possible impact on healing rates.


          We included all patients with first revision surgery during 2010–2015 due to nonunion of long bones with a clinical history of infection treated with radical debridement, local application of a gentamicin-impregnated bone cement, and systemic cefuroxime. Mean follow-up was 34.2 months. Data collection was performed retrospectively using a computerized databank with information about microbial species from intraoperatively acquired tissue samples and respective antibiograms. Bone fusion rates were evaluated based on findings of the latest X-rays and computed tomography scans.


          Two hundred and twelve patients with nonunion and history of infection were selected; 171 patients had positive intraoperative microbial evidence of infection. Bacterial testing was mostly positive in fractures of the tibia (47.4%) and the femur (27.5%). Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp. were the most frequently detected (44.4%) followed by mixed infections (18.7%) and Staphylococcus aureus (10.5%). Antibiograms revealed that 62.6% of our cases were cefuroxime sensitive; 87.7% were gentamicin sensitive. Only 10.5% showed resistance to both cefuroxime and gentamicin. There was no statistically significant difference of fusion rates between patients with different microbial species or different antibiograms.


          Our data suggest that besides the high variety of different detected species, initial antibiotic treatment with a combination of systemic cefuroxime and local gentamicin-loaded bone cement is effective and in almost 90% the later determined microbial infection was sensitive to this treatment. Therefore, we recommend initial treatment according to this algorithm until specific antibiograms are available from intraoperatively acquired tissue samples.

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          Bone and joint infections are painful for patients and frustrating for both them and their doctors. The high success rates of antimicrobial therapy in most infectious diseases have not yet been achieved in bone and joint infections owing to the physiological and anatomical characteristics of bone. The key to successful management is early diagnosis, including bone sampling for microbiological and pathological examination to allow targeted and long-lasting antimicrobial therapy. The various types of osteomyelitis require differing medical and surgical therapeutic strategies. These types include, in order of decreasing frequency: osteomyelitis secondary to a contiguous focus of infection (after trauma, surgery, or insertion of a joint prosthesis); that secondary to vascular insufficiency (in diabetic foot infections); or that of haematogenous origin. Chronic osteomyelitis is associated with avascular necrosis of bone and formation of sequestrum (dead bone), and surgical debridement is necessary for cure in addition to antibiotic therapy. By contrast, acute osteomyelitis can respond to antibiotics alone. Generally, a multidisciplinary approach is required for success, involving expertise in orthopaedic surgery, infectious diseases, and plastic surgery, as well as vascular surgery, particularly for complex cases with soft-tissue loss.
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            Biofilm formation in Staphylococcus implant infections. A review of molecular mechanisms and implications for biofilm-resistant materials.

            Implant infections in orthopaedics, as well as in many other medical fields, are chiefly caused by staphylococci. The ability of growing within a biofilm enhances the chances of staphylococci to protect themselves from host defences, antibiotic therapies, and biocides. Advances in scientific knowledge on structural molecules (exopolysaccharide, proteins, teichoic acids, and the most recently described extracellular DNA), on the synthesis and genetics of staphylococcal biofilms, and on the complex network of signal factors that intervene in their control are here presented, also reporting on the emerging strategies to disrupt or inhibit them. The attitude of polymorphonuclear neutrophils and macrophages to infiltrate and phagocytise biofilms, as well as the ambiguous behaviour exhibited by these innate immune cells in biofilm-related implant infections, are here discussed. Research on anti-biofilm biomaterials is focused, reviewing materials loaded with antibacterial substances, or coated with anti-adhesive/anti-bacterial immobilized agents, or surfaced with nanostructures. Latter approaches appear promising, since they avoid the spread of antibacterial substances in the neighbouring tissues with the consequent risk of inducing bacterial resistance. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              The skin microbiome


                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                04 January 2018
                : 14
                : 59-67
                [1 ]Department of Orthopaedics, Trauma Surgery and Paraplegiology
                [2 ]Pharmacy Department, Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Georg W Omlor, Department of Orthopaedics, Trauma Surgery and Paraplegiology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Schlierbacher Landstrasse 200a, D-69118, Heidelberg, Germany, Tel +49 6221 563 5378, Fax +49 6221 969 288, Email georg.omlor@
                © 2018 Helbig et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research


                infected nonunions, antibiotic treatment, microbial spectrum, antibiogram


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