Outcome analysis of antibiotic-loaded poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) beads in musculoskeletal infections

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Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences


Objective: Despite the availability of an extensive array of antibiotics, musculoskeletal infections are not cured successfully. It is necessary to remove sequestra, infected necrotic tissue, and implants. This study was undertaken to assess the efficacy of poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA) beads and identify the variables that influence eradication and recurrence in the treatment of musculoskeletal infections. Methods: This study was conducted on 82 patients with chronic osteomyelitis who were treated over a period of 6 years at our tertiary care hospital. We followed up with 71 patients for one year. Clinicoradiological data for the control of infection and bone healing were assessed at the final follow up visit. The correlation between antibiotic sensitivity/resistance and infection was evaluated for Gentamicin + Cefuroxime and Gentamicin + Vancomycin combinations. Chi-squared testing, using SPSS version 16.0, was used for statistical analysis, and a p-value < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Fifty-three patients (65.4%) had an exogenous route of infection. Fifty-six patients (68.51%) presented with a discharging sinus on first presentation. In 42 patients (59%), the diagnosis was verified with a positive bacterial culture. In addition, we used antibiotic beads of Gentamicin + Cefuroxime in 74 patients (90%), while in 8 patients (10%), we used Gentamicin + Vancomycin, based on culture and sensitivity results. Recurrence was found in five cases of Gentamicin + Cefuroxime and two cases of Gentamicin + Vancomycin (p = 0.065). Conclusion: Antibiotics containing PMMA beads are effective in the treatment of chronic osteomyelitis and in preventing the recurrence of infection. It is imperative to identify various factors responsible for the recurrence of infection. This may help clinicians predict the prognosis of the disease and minimise the risk of adverse outcomes.



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