Multidisciplinary work for clinical impact

AO Trauma plays key role in international efforts to fight fracture-related infection

29 July 2019

Willem-Jan Metsemakers (BE) receiving the Berton Rahn award

Fracture-related infection (FRI) is one of the most complex problems in modern orthopedic trauma surgery. Even after exemplary surgical care, patients can still suffer from infection at the site of the operation, and this has significant impact on their recovery. The problem of FRI is, of course, nothing new. The AO founders also battled with the risks of infection as they worked to win over the medical establishment to their new principles of open reduction and internal fixation. The AO principles are now accepted as best practice across the globe, and have delivered significant health benefits and economic savings, but infection remains a very real problem for both surgeons and patients that seemingly cannot be completely eliminated.

In recent decades the problem of implant-related bone infection has gained greater attention, however, this has primarily focused on periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), rather than on FRI. AO Trauma has played a key role, alongside the AO Technical Commission and the AO Research Institute Davos, in research to address the problem of fracture-related infection. The common goal is to improve care for patients suffering from FRI. Some of the key achievements of this collaboration are already having clinical impact. This demonstrates the impact that the AO can have when minds are focused on a common topic and input comes from across the AO and beyond.

Read the full story here.

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