Deep and severe burns often present with the exposure of musculoskeletal structures and severe deformities. Skeletal fixation, suspension and/or traction are part of their comprehensive treatment. Several factors put burn patients at risk for osteomyelitis, osteosynthesis material being one of them. In order to determine the safety of skeletal fixation, we reviewed all pediatric patients treated with pin insertion during the past 10 years. Forty-one severely burned children (61±3% TBSA full thickness burns), had a total of 357 skeletal fixation procedures. Pins were maintained an average of 25.3±1.7 days. Thirteen pins (3.6%) were loose before the expected time of removal, two patients (4.8%) presented with cellulitis of the pin site and two patients (4.8%) presented with osteomyelitis. Loose pins, pin site cellulitis, burn wound infection and sepsis were not associated with ostemyelitis. Skeletal fixation in severely burned patients presents with a low incidence of infectious complications. Its use should be considered in patients affected by severe burns that present with exposed deep structures and for positioning purposes. The exact timing for pin removal in burned patients is still to be defined. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd and ISBI.
- Skeletal fixation