Infections Associated with Temporary External Fixation


Infections associated with external fixation are thought to be related to the fixator construct, the length of time a fixator is on the limb and the injury severity score (ISS). Patients who had temporary external fixation applied for lower extremity fractures were included. Charts were reviewed for prevalence of infection, loss of reduction or other external fixator modification. Other variables were length of time the fixator was applied and the length of hospitalization. Seventy-five patients with 80 fractures met our study criteria. Of 80 fractures, 23 (28.8%) were associated with infection at the fracture site. Average time to conversion from external fixation to definitive fixation was 13.23 ± 19.8 for infected fractures and 20.03 ± 17.08 (p = 0.137) for those without infection. We did not find that the length of time a fixator was applied was associated with an increased infection rate of the fracture site, the pin sites or other regions. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 29(2):73–76, 2020) Keywords: external fixation, long bone fractures, surgical site infection, Injury Severity Score (ISS)

SKU: JSOA-2020-29-2-S1 Categories: ,

Mohamed Salar, MD and Paul J. Dougherty, MD, FAOA, FACS