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Classification of fracture wound infection

A variety of factors can influence the prognosis of fracture wound infections...

Introduction

A variety of factors can influence the prognosis of fracture wound infections. Unlike hematogenous osteomyelitis, a fracture wound begins with damaged soft tissue and bone, and consequent, locally-reduced resistance to infection. There may also be necrotic bone, and perhaps foreign material, where bacteria are protected from host defenses and blood-borne antibiotics, often sheltering in biofilms (see general introduction).

Factors to consider in categorizing infections are:

  • duration of infection
  • anatomical area of bony involvement
  • host resistance (systemic and/or local)
  • status of fracture fixation
  • status of fracture healing
  • microbiology