Dual use of silver for management of chronic bone infections and infected non-unions

J Indian Med Assoc. 1996 Mar;94(3):91-5.


Broad spectrum antibacterial effect of electrically generated silver ions has been fully established. Present work consists of clinical evaluation of beneficial antibacterial effect of silver ions liberated electrically with the help of locally manufactured power pack in 920 proved cases of chronic osteomyelitis with or without pathological fractures and septic non-unions. Wound debridement, silver iontophoresis, proper immobilisation and subsequent wound care yielded not only control of bone infections in 85% cases, but also produced healing of pathological fractures in 83% patients. Results remained unaffected by age or sex of patient, type of bone involved, duration of previous illness or type of previous treatment. Follow-up varied from 6 months to 10 years. This technique is likely to open a new chapter in treatment of chronic resistant bone infections and septic non-unions due to open fractures particularly in developing countries of the world.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / drug therapy*
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / microbiology
  • Fractures, Ununited / drug therapy*
  • Fractures, Ununited / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iontophoresis / methods*
  • Male
  • Osteomyelitis / complications
  • Osteomyelitis / drug therapy*
  • Silver / therapeutic use*


  • Silver