Orthopedic Prosthetic Infections: Diagnosis and Orthopedic Salvage

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Orthopedic hardware infections are much feared and costly complications that can occur when these devices are implemented both in traumatic cases as well as in joint replacement surgery. Because these infections can lead to great morbidity, it is important to understand their pathophysiology as well as the principles behind their diagnosis and initial treatment. Plastic surgeons are frequently consulted as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide stable soft tissue coverage of the associated defects that result from these infections. A review of the existing literature was performed to identify the potential causes of these infections, to provide established diagnostic criteria guidelines, and to explain how these prosthetic infections are managed from an orthopedic surgery perspective prior to consulting the plastic surgery team.

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