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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 53-57

Antibiotic-impregnated cement-coated intramedullary nail in primary fixation of compound fractures of tibial shaft – A comparative study with external fixator in terms of infection control

Department of Orthopaedics, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jodp.jodp_45_22

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Introduction: Compound tibial shaft fractures are conventionally managed by debridement and primary stabilization by external fixators, followed by definitive fixation after the wound healing; however, many problems such as infection, difficult soft tissue reconstruction, and psychosocial effects encountered. Hence, a technique of antibiotic-impregnated cement-coated intramedullary nailing has been advocated. Aims: The aim of the study is to compare functional and biological outcomes of antibiotic-impregnated cement-coated nail with external fixators. Settings and Design: This was a prospective interventional study. Subjects and Methods: A total of 20 patients with Compound Grade 3A and 3B (Gustilo and Anderson) tibial shaft fractures who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria from January 2020 to June 2021 were selected. Group 1 was operated with antibiotic-impregnated cement-coated nails. Group 2 was operated with external fixators. Clinical and laboratory parameters were used to evaluate infection control. Final follow-up was taken at 6 weeks. Results: The infection rate after nailing was 10% in Group 1 (1/10) and 50% in Group 2 (5/10). Intraoperative time taken for soft tissue reconstruction procedures after primary fixation such as flap cover and skin grafting was comparatively less in Group 1 (mean time – 32 min ± 6.23) compared to Group 2 (51 min ± 5.83). Duration between primary and definite fixation was comparably less in Group 1 (mean duration 5.7 weeks ± 0.45) compared to Group 2 (6.3 weeks ± 1.004). Conclusions: Primary antibiotic-impregnated cement-coated nail is better than external fixator in terms of infection control and providing stability in compound fractures of shaft of tibia.

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