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Am J Surg. 2004 Jul;188(1A Suppl):57-66.

Surgical management of chronic osteomyelitis.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Mount Sinai Medical Center, 5 East 98th Street, Box 1188, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Chronic osteomyelitis is a surgical disease that can require significant dedication from both patients and surgeons to eradicate. Osteomyelitis can result from a variety of etiologies but most often is a consequence of trauma to a long bone, frequently the tibia. It is important to understand the etiology of the infection, as well as the pathophysiology of its chronicity. Additionally, the surgeon must individualize treatment for each patient, because host morbidities often play an important role in propagation of infection. Treatment requires isolation of the pathogens, significant debridement for removal of all infective and necrotic material, and then bony and soft tissue reconstruction. We review the literature of surgical treatment of chronic osteomyelitis and discuss the numerous techniques available to the treatment team, including debridement, dead space management, Ilizarov techniques, and vascularized reconstruction. These patients often require a multimodality approach that incorporates a team approach involving orthopedic and plastic surgery, as well as infectious disease and general medicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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