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In terms of eradication, osteomyelitis represents one of the most challenging infective conditions in medicine and surgery. In recent years, the use of bioactive glass in conjunction with antimicrobial therapy has emerged as a viable new treatment. We present a short study, from a regional orthopaedic unit, demonstrating its successful use in three patients with chronic osteomyelitis. Between September 2010 and May 2011, bioactive glass S53P4 was used in conjunction with intravenous and oral antibiotics to treat chronic osteomyelitis in three patients (two male, one female). All patients underwent debridement and sequestrectomy procedures with the insertion of bioactive glass followed by antimicrobial regimens tailored to isolated pathogen sensitivities. Patient age ranged from 28 to 68 years, with a mean age of 44.7 years. The presentation period, from time of initial diagnosis to treatment, varied from 16 months to 16 years and all three patients had underwent multiple previous debridements and antimicrobial regimens to no avail. A follow-up of 14-21 months has been achieved with a mean follow-up of 17.3 months. We have seen excellent results in all three patients. All haematological and biochemical parameters have returned to normal, pain has ceased and function has returned in the affected limbs. All antibiotics have stopped and there is no radiological evidence of osteomyelitis. The bioactive glass has integrated with the surrounding bone. Though a relatively recent development, bioactive glass used in concurrence with antibiotic therapy has significant potential in the treatment of chronic osteomyelitis.


J McAndrew, C Efrimescu, E Sheehan, D Niall. Through the looking glass; bioactive glass S53P4 (BonAlive®) in the treatment of chronic osteomyelitis. Irish journal of medical science. 2013 Sep;182(3):509-11

PMID: 23292733

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