The global burden of fracture-related infection: can we do better?

Willem Jan Metsemakers*, T. Fintan Moriarty, Mario Morgenstern, Leonard Marais, Jolien Onsea, Robert V. O'Toole, Melissa Depypere, William T. Obremskey, Michael H.J. Verhofstad, Martin McNally, Saam Morshed, Marjan Wouthuyzen-Bakker, Charalampos Zalavras

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Fracture-related infection is a major complication related to musculoskeletal injuries that not only has important clinical consequences, but also a substantial socioeconomic impact. Although fracture-related infection is one of the oldest disease entities known to mankind, it has only recently been defined and, therefore, its global burden is still largely unknown. In this Personal View, we describe the origin of the term fracture-related infection, present the available data on its global impact, and discuss important aspects regarding its prevention and management that could lead to improved outcomes in both high-resource and low-resource settings. We also highlight the need for health-care systems to be adequately compensated for the high cost of human resources (trained staff) and well-equipped facilities required to adequately care for these complex patients. Our aim is to increase awareness among clinicians and policy makers that fracture-related infection is a disease entity that deserves prioritisation in terms of research, with the goal to standardise treatment and improve patient outcomes on a global scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e386-e393
JournalThe Lancet Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Early online date29 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

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Publisher Copyright: © 2023 Elsevier Ltd


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