Use of a tobramycin-impregnated polymethylmethacrylate pin sleeve for the prevention of pin-tract infection in goats

Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma
K VoosD Seligson

Abstract

To test the hypothesis that antibiotic-laden polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) pin sleeves prevent infection around skeletal external fixation pins. An experimental study using an animal model was conducted. In each of five goats, three four-millimeter half-pins were placed in the left and right iliac crests, for a total of thirty half-pins. The pins were infected with one milliliter of broth containing 7.6 x 10(5) colony-forming units per milliliter of Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923). The pins in the right iliac crest were treated with the tobramycin-impregnated pin sleeves, and the pins in the left iliac crest (control) were left untreated. The results showed clinical evidence of infection (i.e., looseness and gross pus) and heavy bacterial growth (average 6.8 x 10(10) colony-forming units per milliliter) for the untreated pins, but no clinical evidence of infection and no bacterial growth at forty-eight hours for the treated pins. The present results indicate that the use of the antibiotic-impregnated PMMA pin sleeve can prevent the development of pin-tract infection and appears to prevent colonization of the external fixation pins.

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