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J Orthop Trauma. 1999 Sep-Oct;13(7):470-6.

Influence of the design for fixation implants on local infection: experimental study of dynamic compression plates versus point contact fixators in rabbits.

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AO ASIF Research Institute, Davos, Switzerland.



Comparison of infection resistance after local bacterial challenge associated with two different designs for fixation implants: the conventional dynamic compression plate (DCP) and the point contact fixator (PC-Fix).


Randomized, prospective study in experimental animals. Grouped sequential experimental procedure. Observation time was twenty-eight days, with twenty animals per group.


Following surgery, animals were kept without restrictions in individual hutches.


Forty White New Zealand rabbits. Thirty-eight animals, nineteen per group, were included in the final evaluation.


Under sterile conditions, specially manufactured titanium DCP or PC-Fix of identical dimensions were fixed to rabbit tibiae. After wound closure, different concentrations of Staphylococcus aureus, between 2 x 10(4) and 2 x 10(8) colony-forming units (CFU), were inoculated percutaneously at the implant site.


Implants, underlying bone, and surrounding soft tissues were removed under sterile conditions and quantitatively evaluated for bacterial growth. Infection was defined as positive bacterial growth at the bone-implant interface.


The overall infection rate was 45 percent. The infection dose of 50 percent (ID50) was 7.08 x 10(5) CFU for the DCP group and 8.51 x 10(6) CFU for the PC-Fix group. The infection rate was 63 percent (twelve of nineteen animals) for the DCP group and 26 percent (five of nineteen animals) for the PC-Fix group. This difference was statistically significant (p = 0.022).


After local bacterial challenge, we found a statistically significant difference in the infection rates depending on the implant design. The higher infection resistance associated with the PC-Fix design seems to be related to the reduced contact area at the bone-implant interface.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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