Osteosynthesis and Trauma Care 2004; 12(2): 62-67
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-822687
Original Article

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Infection after Tibial Intramedullary Nailing: Diagnosis and Treatment

G. A. Zych1
  • 1Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
05 July 2004 (online)


Infection after tibial intramedullary nailing is a recognized complication in the management of fractures and reconstructive procedures. The highest incidence occurs with reamed nailing of open tibial fractures. Substance abuse (tobacco, alcohol, drugs) is noted in many patients. The diagnosis is made on the basis of history and physical examination supplemented with plain radiographs. Wound cultures will usually yield the causative organism, most commonly, Staphylococcus aureus. Treatment relies upon following established surgical principles of abscess drainage, soft tissue and bone debridement, maintenance of osseous stability and appropriate antimicrobial therapy. Complete eradication of infection often requires eventual removal of the nail implant. The functional outcome is highly satisfactory in the majority of cases.


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Gregory A. ZychDO 

Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation · University of Miami School of Medicine

P.O. Box 01 69 60 (D-27)

Miami, FL 33101


Phone: +1/3 05-5 85-71 48

Fax: +1/3 05-3 24-76 58

Email: Gzych@Med.Miami.Edu