Influence of materials for fixation implants on local infection. An experimental study of steel versus titanium DCP in rabbits

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1996 Jul;78(4):647-51.


Resistance to infection may be influenced by foreign bodies such as devices for fracture fixation. It is known that stainless steel and commercially-pure titanium have different biocompatibilities. We have investigated susceptibility to infection after a local bacterial challenge using standard 2.0 dynamic compression plates of either stainless steel or titanium in rabbit tibiae. After the wounds had been closed, various concentrations of a strain of Staphylococcus aureus were inoculated percutaneously. Under otherwise identical experimental conditions the rate of infection for steel plates (75%) was significantly higher than that for titanium plates (35%) (p < 0.05).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials*
  • Bone Plates*
  • Bone Screws
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Internal Fixators*
  • Rabbits
  • Stainless Steel*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / etiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / microbiology
  • Tibia / microbiology
  • Tibia / surgery
  • Titanium*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium