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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 396-402

Use of antibiotic cement-impregnated intramedullary nail in treatment of infected non-union of long bone

Sancheti Institute for Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, 16, Shivajinagar, Pune - 5, India

Correspondence Address:
Parag K Sancheti
Sancheti Institute for Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, 16, Shivajinagar, Pune - 5
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.55468

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Background: In cases with infected non-union, the primary step is eradication of the infection before attempting to achieve union. Release of antibiotics from the bone cement at a high concentration and its penetration to the surrounding tissues, including cortical and cancellous bone, prompted the use of antibiotic cement in the control of bone infection. The aim of this study is to summarize our experience with the use of antibiotic cement-impregnated intramedullary nail (ACIIN) for control of infection in cases of infected non-union with bone defect. Materials and Methods: We prospectively studied 25 cases of infected non-union (23 femora and two tibiae). There were 24 males and one female, with the mean age being 33 years (range, 21-58 years). All patients had high-velocity road traffic accidents except one patient who had farmland injury. There were seven closed fractures, one grade I compound, two grade II compound fractures, five grade IIIA compound fractures, and 10 grade IIIB compound fractures. ACIIN was used in all cases after adequate debridement. Patients were classified according to the amount of bone defect present after debridement: group 1 with bone defect <4 cm (n=13), group 2 with bone defect ≥4-<6 cm (n=7), and group 3 with bone defect ≥6 cm (n=5). Infection control was judged on the basis of discharge through the wound and laboratory parameters. All patients were followed-up, with an average follow-up time of 29 months (range, 18-40 months). The mean duration of retention of the intramedullary rod was 8 weeks (range, 6-12 weeks). Results: In group 1, all cases achieved infection control, with three patients achieving bone union without any need of secondary procedure. In group 2, all cases achieved infection control but the time taken was significantly longer than for group 1 (p-value 0.0002). All the cases required a secondary procedure in the form of either interlocking intramedullary nailing with iliac crest bone graft or Ilizarov ring fixator application to achieve union. None of the cases in group 3 achieved infection control. Conclusion: ACIINs are useful for infection control in cases of infected non-union with bone defect <6 cm. In cases with defect >6 cm, other alternatives should be used.

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