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J Bone Jt Infect. 2017 Jan 1;2(1):23-28. doi: 10.7150/jbji.16649. eCollection 2017.

Local Intra-wound Administration of Powdered Antibiotics in Orthopaedic Surgery.

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Rothman Institute, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, United States.


Surgical site infection (SSI) is one of the most common complications after orthopaedic surgery, leading to significant morbidity and its associated costs. Surgical guidelines strongly recommend the use of systemic antibiotic prophylaxis to reduce the risk for developing SSI. Locally administered powdered antibiotics have the potential to provide remarkably high intra-wound concentrations without risk for systemic toxicity. However, a paucity of high quality evidence in the orthopaedic literature has prevented widespread adoption of this technique. The majority of clinical studies on local intra-wound antibiotics have evaluated the use of topical powdered vancomycin in spinal surgery, though only a single prospective study currently exists. This review will discuss all the available evidence describing the effectiveness, pharmacokinetics, and potential adverse effects with the use of topical powdered antibiotics in orthopedic surgery.


Surgical site infection; orthopaedic surgery

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Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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