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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v17.i3.10
pages 181-185

Cost of Antibiotic Beads is Justified: A Study of Open Fracture Wounds and Chronic Osteomyelitis

Brenton A. Wright
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery University of Louisville, School of Medicine, 210 E. Gray Street, Suite 1003, Louisville, KY
Craig S. Roberts
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery University of Louisville, School of Medicine, 210 E. Gray Street, Suite 1003, Louisville, KY
David Seligson
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery University of Louisville, School of Medicine, 210 E. Gray Street, Suite 1003, Louisville, KY
Arthur L. Malkani
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery University of Louisville, School of Medicine, 210 E. Gray Street, Suite 1003, Louisville, KY
Steven J. McCabe
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery University of Louisville, School of Medicine, 210 E. Gray Street, Suite 1003, Louisville, KY

ABSTRACT

Background—The purpose of this study was to track the cost of antibiotic-impregnated bead chains and the outcome of treatment over a 30-month period occurring before USP Chapter 797 went into effect. Our overall objective was to determine whether the costs of antibiotic beads were justified by reduced rates of active infections associated with open fracture wounds or chronic osteomyelitis. Methods—We retrospectively reviewed 125 patients with open fracture wounds (Group 1) and 16 patients with chronic osteomyelitis (Group 2) treated over a 2.5-year period. We reviewed the medical records and performed cost calculations for the beads. The minimum time from treatment to the latest follow-up evaluation was six weeks (average, 30.7 weeks; range, 6-134 weeks) for Group 1 and six months (average, 61.8 weeks; range, 24−156 weeks) for Group 2. Results—The overall infection rates were 3.2% (96.8% free of active infection) for Group 1 and 25.0% (75.0% free of active infection) for Group 2. The average cost of antibiotic bead treatment per patient was $419.36 for Group 1 and $484.54 for Group 2. Conclusions—The costs of antibiotic beads to prevent active infection of open fracture wounds or to treat active infection associated with chronic osteomyelitis are justified based on the cost structure prior to the impact of new federal regulations (USP Chapter 797 regulations). We anticipate that the cost of antibiotic beads will increase dramatically with these new regulations.