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6Treatment - implant retention or removal

If an identified infection is treated early, and its fixation remains stable, then with appropriate surgical clearance...

Plates and screws

If an identified infection is treated early, and its fixation remains stable, then with appropriate surgical clearance and antibiotics, the infection is likely to respond and to remain suppressed during fracture healing. Despite successful fracture healing, later recurrent infection can lead to the need for hardware removal.

After the “infected hardware” is removed from the united fracture, and any necessary further excision of questionable tissue and/or bone has been undertaken, the infection usually resolves satisfactorily with a low risk of recurrence.

The pictures to the left: Plated tibia fracture. Early infection debrided. Plate was stable and left in situ. Eventual granulation over bone and then partial thickness skin grafting.