To test the hypothesis that antibiotic-laden polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) pin sleeves prevent infection around skeletal external fixation pins
An experimental study using an animal model was conducted.
In each of five goats, three four-millimeter half-pins were placed in the left and right iliac crests, for a total of thirty half-pins. The pins were infected with one milliliter of broth containing 7.6 × 105
colony-forming units per milliliter of Staphylococcus aureus
The pins in the right iliac crest were treated with the tobramycin-impregnated pin sleeves, and the pins in the left iliac crest (control) were left untreated.
The results showed clinical evidence of infection (i.e., looseness and gross pus) and heavy bacterial growth (average 6.8 × 1010
colony-forming units per milliliter) for the untreated pins, but no clinical evidence of infection and no bacterial growth at forty-eight hours for the treated pins.
The present results indicate that the use of the antibiotic-impregnated PMMA pin sleeve can prevent the development of pin-tract infection
and appears to prevent colonization of the external fixation pins