The management of chronic osteomyelitis in adults: outcomes of an integrated approach
Keywords:chronic osteomyelitis, dead space management, bioactive glass, Lautenbach technique
Background: This study presents the outcomes of the management of chronic osteomyelitis of the appendicular skeleton according to an integrated approach at a dedicated bone infection unit in South Africa.
Methods: A retrospective record review identified 80 patients who were treated between January 2016 and December 2018.
Results: Sixty patients (75%) presented with fracture-related infections, 17 patients (21%) developed chronic osteomyelitis following haematogenous spread and three (4%) from contiguous wounds. According to the Cierny and Mader classification, 21 patients presented with anatomical type I, 14 with type II, 24 with type III and 21 with type IV chronic osteomyelitis. Positive microbial cultures were obtained in 63 (79%) cases. Follow-up for the cohort ranged from 1 to 29 months, with a mean follow-up of 10.4 months. The overall complication rate for the cohort was 6% and included sterile drainage from the surgical site after management with bioactive glass (S53P4), refracture after hardware removal, and development of non-union. Five patients experienced recurrence after the initial procedure to eradicate infection, resulting in an overall resolution rate of 94%.
Conclusion: Using single-stage surgeries and tailored dead space management strategies according to a comprehensive integrated approach developed in South Africa, results comparable to international literature can be achieved.
Level of evidence: Level 4