Physician researchers from the University of Maryland Department of Orthopaedics recently received more than $2.2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct an extensive study called, “A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Antibiotic Cement Bead Pouch Versus Negative Pressure Wound Therapy for the Management of Severe Open Tibia Fracture Wounds”.

The trial is being led by Gerard Slobogean, MD, MPH, FRCSC, Associate Professor of Orthopaedics and Director of Clinical Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and in collaboration with colleagues from McMaster University, the University of Utah, and many of the PREP-IT clinical sites across Canada, the US, and Spain.

For open fractures that require multiple irrigation and debridement surgeries, there is uncertainty on how the open fracture wound should be managed between procedures. The overarching objective of this trial is to determine if the temporary placement of non-absorbable antibiotic beads at the fracture site improves outcomes compared to using a wound vac in patients with severe open fractures. It will add clarity to this arena and help orthopaedic surgeons determine the best possible strategy for temporary wound management.

“This trial is going to answer a critical treatment decision for these challenging tibia fractures,” says Dr. Slobogean. “Wound VACs are convenient and popular, but it is very plausible that the simpler antibiotic cement bead pouch results in better patient outcomes. Tibia fractures have a very high infection rate of over 10% and can results in significant disability and need for multiple reoperations. Decreasing the burden of the injuries will be immensely important to patients and surgeons.”

Learn more about current research being conducted by the University of Maryland Department of Orthopaedics. To refer a patient, call (410) 448-6400.