Effectiveness of commercially-available antibiotic-impregnated implants

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2006 Aug;88(8):1102-4. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.88B8.17368.


The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of antibiotic-impregnated implants in the prevention of bone infection. We used a model of contaminated fracture in goats to evaluate four treatment groups: no treatment, hand-made tobramycin-impregnated polymethylmethacrylate beads, commercially-available tobramycin-impregnated calcium sulphate pellets and commercially-available tobramycin-impregnated polymethylmethacrylate beads. Three weeks after intraosseous inoculation with streptomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus tissue cultures showed no evidence of infection in any of the antibiotic-treated groups. All of the cultures were positive in the untreated group. These results show that effective local antibiotic delivery can be obtained with both commercially-available products and with hand-made polymethylmethacrylate beads. The calcium sulphate pellets have the advantage of being bioabsorbable, thereby obviating the need for a second procedure to remove them.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Bone Diseases, Infectious / complications
  • Bone Diseases, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • Calcium Sulfate / administration & dosage
  • Colony Count, Microbial / methods
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Implants / administration & dosage
  • Fractures, Bone / complications
  • Goats
  • Male
  • Microspheres*
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Tobramycin / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Drug Implants
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Tobramycin
  • Calcium Sulfate