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    Open wound management in prosthetic joint infection (PJI) patients has been used in problematic dehisced wounds hoping to stimulate granulation tissue and closure. However, infections that start as a monomicrobial PJI can become polymicrobial with resultant worse outcomes following open wound management. This study assessed the relationship between open wound management and the development of polymicrobial periprosthetic joint infections. We reviewed patients referred with a synovial cutaneous fistula. Patients with an open wound measuring less than 2 cm and less than two weeks of open wound management were excluded. Variables included original organisms cultured, type and length of open wound management, and organisms cultured at the time of revision infection surgery. Of the 65 patients with a previous monomicrobial infection treated with open wound management, 22/65 (34%) progressed to a polymicrobial infection. Thirty (46%) wounds were packed open with gauze, 20 (31%) were managed with negative pressure wound therapy, and 15 (23%) had surface dressings only. Of the 22 patients who converted to a polymicrobial infection, only 10 (45%) were infection free at follow-up. In contrast, 30 of 43 patients (70%) whose infections remained monomicrobial were infection free at follow-up. Open wound management can lead to conversion from a monomicrobial to a polymicrobial PJI, a rate of 34% in this series. Open prosthetic wound management should be discontinued for a fear of converting a monomicrobial infection to a difficult to treat polymicrobial infection. Surgeons must be prudent in the use of open wound management. Level IV, Retrospective Case Series. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Michael M Valenzuela, Benjamin J Averkamp, Susan M Odum, Taylor M Rowe, Thomas K Fehring. Polymicrobial Colonization of Prosthetic Joint Infections Treated With Open Wound Management. The Journal of arthroplasty. 2022 Jul;37(7S):S653-S656

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    PMID: 35283231

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