Use of a tobramycin-impregnated polymethylmethacrylate pin sleeve for the prevention of pin-tract infection in goats

J Orthop Trauma. 1999 Feb;13(2):98-101. doi: 10.1097/00005131-199902000-00005.


Objective: To test the hypothesis that antibiotic-laden polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) pin sleeves prevent infection around skeletal external fixation pins.

Design: An experimental study using an animal model was conducted.

Animals: In each of five goats, three four-millimeter half-pins were placed in the left and right iliac crests, for a total of thirty half-pins. The pins were infected with one milliliter of broth containing 7.6 x 10(5) colony-forming units per milliliter of Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923).

Intervention: The pins in the right iliac crest were treated with the tobramycin-impregnated pin sleeves, and the pins in the left iliac crest (control) were left untreated.

Results: The results showed clinical evidence of infection (i.e., looseness and gross pus) and heavy bacterial growth (average 6.8 x 10(10) colony-forming units per milliliter) for the untreated pins, but no clinical evidence of infection and no bacterial growth at forty-eight hours for the treated pins.

Conclusion: The present results indicate that the use of the antibiotic-impregnated PMMA pin sleeve can prevent the development of pin-tract infection and appears to prevent colonization of the external fixation pins.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Bone Cements
  • Bone Nails*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Implants
  • Equipment Contamination / prevention & control*
  • External Fixators
  • Fracture Fixation / instrumentation
  • Goats
  • Materials Testing*
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate*
  • Reference Values
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*
  • Tobramycin / administration & dosage*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bone Cements
  • Drug Implants
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Tobramycin