Advances in the understanding and treatment of musculoskeletal infections. Instructional course lectures Lowenberg, D. W., Watson, J. T., Levin, L. S. 2015; 64: 37-49


Musculoskeletal infections are a challenging treatment problem for orthopaedic surgeons. Despite advances in aseptic techniques and improved chemotherapeutic options, there has not been a substantial decrease in the incidence of musculoskeletal infections for the past quarter century. Understanding how microbes gain a foothold in tissue and bone and establish a chronic infectious state is imperative to the successful treatment of bone and soft-tissue infections. The methodic establishment of microbes in a sessile state in a mature biofilm represents the basis for instituting a chronic microbial defense system and sustainability in a host. To properly eradicate such infections requires a stepwise treatment algorithm of meticulous and thorough débridement, dead-space management, and soft-tissue and bone reconstruction. A comprehensive understanding of the reconstruction ladder combined with a detailed treatment plan from the initial staging of an infection through final reconstruction can cure an infection and achieve good functional results for patients.

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