A descriptive study on the surgery and the microbiology of Gustilo type III fractures in an university hospital in Switzerland

Erlangga Yusuf, Julia Steinrücken, Thomas Buchegger, Andrej Trampuz, Olivier Borens

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7 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiology, the surgical treatment, the microbiology, the antibiotic prophylaxis and the outcome of patients with the most severe type of open fractures.

METHODS: Retrospective chart reviews of patients with Gustilo type III open fracture admitted to an university hospital in Switzerland between January 2007 and December 2011. The patient's and fracture's characteristics, surgery, antibiotic prophylaxis, and microbiology findings at the initial and at the revision surgery were described.

RESULTS: Thirty patients were included (83% male, mean age 41 years). More than half of the patients had polytrauma. In all patients, debridement and stabilization surgery (70% using external fixation) were performed at admission. Soft tissue reconstruction was performed in 87% and in 23% immediate bone graft was performed. Antibiotic prophylaxis were given in all patients for a median duration of 9 days (60% received amoxicillin/clavulanic acid). Positive bacterial culture was found in 53% of the patients at initial surgery and in 88% at revision surgery. At initial and revision surgery, 47% and 88% of the pathogens were amoxicillin/clavulanic acid-resistant. Treatment outcome was favorable in 24 of 30 patients (80%) and in six cases (20%) an amputation had to be performed. None of the patients had chronic bone infection.

CONCLUSIONS: Positive cultures were found often in open fractures. Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid which is often mentioned in many guidelines as prophylaxis in open fractures does not cover the most common isolated organisms. The combination of surgery and antibiotic prophylaxis leads to good outcome in Gustilo type III fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-32
Number of pages6
JournalActa Orthopaedica Belgica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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