Technique and Outcomes of Antibiotic Impregnated Polymethylmethacrylate Coated Plates

Devon Myers, Hayden B. Schuette, Sean P. McGowan, Braden J. Passias, Robert Patterson, Benjamin C. Taylor


AIM: The purpose of this article is to describe a technique of coating hardware with antibiotic impregnated polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and to report the clinical series results.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Adults were retrospectively identified that underwent surgical stabilization of long-bone fractures with an antibiotic impregnated PMMA coated plate. Exclusion criteria included patients with less than one year follow-up, those with no documentation of radiographic union, and those with incomplete documentation on the type and amount of antibiotics used in the PMMA. Patient demographics, injury characteristics, as well as perioperative variables were collected from the electronic medical records.

RESULTS: Six patients met inclusion and exclusion criteria are were included in this retrospective case series. Five patients were male. Four of the patients were treated for humerus fractures, one for an ulna fracture, and one for a both bone forearm fracture. Three of the patients had a history of an open fracture. Five of the patients went on to have fracture union with no evidence of persistent infection following antibiotic impregnated PMMA coated plating. One patient had persistent infection resulting in a nonunion requiring repeat operation.

CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotic impregnated PMMA plating is an effective technique that may prove useful in cases of orthopedic hardware infection requiring further fixation. The use of this technique in a prophylactic setting for patients at high risk of infection and poor outcomes may prove to be of an even greater clinical significance.


Antibiotic plating; Septic nonunion; Polymethylmethacrylate; Prophylactic antibiotic plating

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