Infected Nonunion of the Long Bones
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BACKGROUND: Although definitions vary, infected nonunion has been defined as a state of failure of union and persistence of infection at the fracture site for 6 to 8 months.>). Infected nonunions of the supracondylar region of the femur are uncommon and are mostly due to a severe open fracture with extensive comminution and segmental bone loss or after internal fixation of a comminuted closed fracture. Associated factors include exposed bone devoid of vascularized periosteal coverage for more than 6 weeks, purulent discharge, a positive bacteriological culture from the depth of the wound, and histologic evidence of necrotic bone containing empty lacunae. Soft-tissue loss with multiple sinuses, osteomyelitis, osteopenia, complex deformities with limb-length inequality, stiffness of the adjacent joint, polybacterial multidrug-resistant infection, and smoking all complicate treatment and recovery. Although uncommon in incidence, infected nonunions of the long bones present a great challenge to the orthopaedic surgeon in providing optimal treatment of this entity. To give direction to the optimal strategy, this systematic review was performed. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to review the highest level of available evidence on the operative management of infected nonunions of the long bones.
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