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Treatment and prevention of osteomyelitis following trauma in adults

Steven K Schmitt, MD, FIDSA
Section Editor
Daniel J Sexton, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


Posttraumatic osteomyelitis refers to osteomyelitis that develops as a result of contaminated open fractures or surgical treatment of closed fractures [1,2]. Posttraumatic osteomyelitis can occur in up to 25 percent of open fractures; the risk depends upon the following factors [3-8]:

Severity of fracture

Severity of soft tissue injury

Degree of bacterial contamination

Presence of underlying vascular insufficiency (eg, peripheral vascular disease or diabetes)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 07, 2017.
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