Musculoskeletal infections are encountered frequently. The treatment of chronic osteomyelitis has changed to a great degree in the last 20 years due to new staging systems, advanced surgical techniques, and supporting treatment methods like hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
Chronic osteomyelitis leads to necrosis of bone and soft tissues. Dead bone is a nidus which hosts pathogenous microorganisms. Defence mechanisms of the host is usually not in optimum condition to deal with microorganisms. Antibiotics can’t reach the infection site because blood flow is disrupted. For these reasons, dead bone has to be completely removed by radical debridement.
Appropriate radical debridement necessitates excision of all necrotic bone and soft tissues, and frequently causes instability at the involved extremity. The remaining bone and soft tissue defect has to be fixed and reconstructed. The distraction osteogenesis method of Ilizarov is used successfully for achievement of union, correction of the deformity, elimination of limb length inequality and reconstruction of segmental bone defects.