Chapter

Essentials of Orthopedic Surgery

pp 84-105

Orthopedic Infections

  • Steven C. ScherpingJr.Affiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Georgetown University Medical Center
  • , Alan D. AaronAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Georgetown University Medical Center

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Abstract

Because of their relative rarity, as compared to other types of more typical infections, musculoskeletal infections can prove to be extremely difficult to diagnose and treat. Unrecognized infections can be limb threatening and even potentially fatal if not recognized and treated. The most important aspect of caring for patients with a musculoskeletal infection is to come to a timely diagnosis. When a timely diagnosis is made, most musculoskeletal infections can be effectively treated and the morbidity minimized. Open fractures are an extremely common occurrence in orthopedics, and specific attention is given to this topic. In general, appropriately treated open fractures can typically prevent the establishment of any type of chronic musculoskeletal infection or osteomyelitis.