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Current Issue - March 2017, Volume 11, Issue No. 1

Official Journal of Malaysian Orthopaedic Association and ASEAN Orthopaedic Association

Complications of Open Tibial Fracture Management: Risk Factors and Treatment


This study aims to elucidate the risk factors causing these complications, and suggest antimicrobial regimens based on the organisms grown in post-operative infections. Over a period of five years, 173 patients had sustained open tibial fractures and undergone operative treatment at a single institution. All surgical data was gathered retrospectively through online medical records. Thirty-one patients (17.9%) had sustained post-operative bony complications, while infective complications were reported in 37 patients (21.4%). Patients with Gustilo type III fractures were found to be more than three times as likely to sustain post-operative infective (p=0.007) or bony (p=0.015) complications, compared to Gustilo type I or II fractures. The fracture location and time taken to fixation did not significantly affect the complication rate, but results were trending towards significance. The commonest cause of infective complications were hospital-acquired organisms, such as Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (40.5%). Closer monitoring of patients sustaining high grade Gustilo open fractures, as well as antimicrobial prophylaxis for both hospital-acquired organisms and
contaminants, will result in the best outcome for patients. Further studies with larger sample sizes are warranted, to determine the significance of fracture location and time taken to fixation on complication rates.

Abstract   |   Reference

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The Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year in both print and electronic online version. The purpose of this journal is to publish original research studies, evaluation of current practices and case reports in various subspecialties of orthopaedics and traumatology, as well as associated fields like basic science, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation medicine and nursing.

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