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J Bone Jt Infect. 2019 Jul 5;4(4):155-162. doi: 10.7150/jbji.34072. eCollection 2019.

Commercially available antibiotic-laden PMMA-covered locking nails for the treatment of fracture-related infections - A retrospective case analysis of 10 cases.

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Division of Traumatology, Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Faculty of Medicine, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Musculoskeletal Pathology Group, Laboratory 18, Institute IDIS, Servicio Galego de Saúde, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


Introduction: Fracture-related infections (FRIs) are a devastating complication. FRIs are challenging and should be addressed with a multidisciplinary approach. An FRI should be addressed surgically by non-viable bone debridement, local antibiotic deposition, minimization of dead space and fracture stabilization. Antibiotic-laden PMMA-covered nails are a viable option to face these complications. To demonstrate the safety and utility of commercially available antibiotic-laden PMMA-covered nails, we performed a review of the cases operated in our institution and a cost analysis to compare the cost of a commercial nail to other available alternatives. Material and methods: We designed a retrospective study of consecutive cases to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of antibiotic-laden PMMA-covered commercial nails and designed a cost analysis of commercial coated nails compared to other custom-made alternatives. Results: We treated seven tibias and three femurs. Nine patients fully fit the criteria for FRI. There was one case of reintervention because of persistent drainage. All fractures healed, and in the first year post-intervention, there were no signs or symptoms of infection. There were no complications related to the commercially available nail that was used. There is a small increase in the direct quantifiable cost in commercially available nails, but non-quantifiable cost should be assessed individually. Conclusions: Commercially available antibiotic-laden PMMA-covered nails are a safe and useful treatment option for complicated cases of lower limb long bone reconstruction. The low complication rate and the straightforward technique compensate for the direct cost increase in most situations.


Infection; antibiotic-laden PMMA-covered nail; fracture-related infection; long bone

Conflict of interest statement

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

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