The treatment of 31 consecutive adult patients, ages 25-67 years with chronic draining osteomyelitis (12 cases) or infected pseudarthrosis (19 cases) by the Papineau technique was retrospectively reviewed. The initial injury was an open fracture in 24 patients and a closed fracture in 7 patients. In all cases an Ilizarov circular external fixation device was used for the stabilization of the fracture or for bone lengthening. Mean follow-up for the group was 20 months (range, 10 months to 5 years) and there was successful limb salvage in all cases with eradication of infection and bone consolidation was achieved. The Ilizarov circular external fixation was removed at a mean of 18 weeks (range, 14-24 weeks). The mean time to bone union was 5 months (range, 4-10 months). All patients returned to their pre-treatment activity levels or better.
Keywords: diabetes; lower extremity; osteomyelitis; papineau; pseudoarthrosis.