Early infections need prompt surgical treatment by wide exploration and surgical excision of all ALL infected and dead tissue (débridement), as well as adjunctive systemic antibiotics, guided by microbiological studies, whenever possible.
Such infections are never “superficial”, as the entire fracture wound is always involved. Only surgical exploration allows comprehensive assessment and care.
In addition, tissue samples taken at this time offer the chance to culture organisms hidden in biofilms.
Neglect allows the infection to progress to a point where much more extensive tissue death occurs.