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Osteomyelitis treated with gentamicin-PMMA beads: 100 patients followed for 1-12 years.

We treated 100 patients having osteomyelitis with debridement and gentamicin-PMMA beads and followed them for 5 (1-12) years. 66 of the infections were chronic, in 18 cases combined with arthritis and in 3 cases with pseudarthrosis. They underwent 117 "treatment periods", consisting of one or more operations (total 152), in most cases with an interval of 2 weeks. No systemic antibiotics were necessary besides the local antibiotic treatment in 52 of the treatment periods. Healing was achieved in 92 patients, in 78 after a single treatment period which included 1-5 operations, in 14 after two or three treatment periods. Healing was more difficult to achieve when the infection was chronic, especially with a duration of more than 6 years or when caused by elective surgery. Local antibiotic treatment with gentamicin PMMA beads has the advantage that the wound can be closed primarily and that a higher local antibiotic concentration in the tissues can be achieved, often making systemic antibiotic treatment unnecessary.

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