ARI leads research into fracture-related infection

New paper examines current state of clinical practice for preventing and treating FRI

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 AO is proud to play a leading role in international efforts to combat FRI.

An Expert Review on FRI has recently published by a multidisciplinary group of researchers with lead authors from the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI). Much of the content was written by past and present medical research fellows at the ARI, who have returned to clinical duty with involvement in treating patients with FRI.

With input from orthopedic and trauma surgeons, infectious disease physicians, microbiologists and basic scientists, this paper provides a comprehensive review for the reader on the current state of the art and future research directions of preventing and treating FRI.
Fitting within the Clinical Priority Program for Bone Infection run by AO Trauma, and the Anti-infection Global Expert Committee of the AO Technical Commission, this is one of the growing number of papers adopting the phrase "fracture-related infection" since its initial description in 2017. This new term was introduced through the actions of the FRI consensus group, which was initiated and supported by the AO Foundation and subsequently endorsed by the AO, OTA, EBJIS and the PRO IMPLANT Foundation, and also by the International Consensus meeting delegates in Philadelphia in 2018.

In addition to describing current best clinical practice, the review places a focus on novel strategies with imminent translational potential. This includes the potential of a number of existing technologies such as implant coatings, biodegradable delivery vehicles for local antibiotics (e.g. hydrogels), as well as the bacteriophage therapy. Such therapies offer potential for improvement in the care of patients with FRI in the coming years.

The authorship includes a collaborative team from ARI, PRO-IMPLANT Foundation (Berlin) and the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Find out more.