Over the years post operative surgical pin site care at times involved time consuming pin site cleaning and laborious daily dressing changes due to pin site drainage (the old process). This drainage is caused by the lack of adequate compression at the surgical pin site. The accumulation of pin site drainage at the the surgical pin site is a perfect medium for bacterial proliferation and subsequent infection. Subsequently, surgical pin micro-motion can lead to devitalized and necrotic tissue formation.
This patient sustained a proximal tibia fracture and could not have immediate surgical intervention. Subsequently, an external fixator was applied to stabilize the fracture. Less then 24 hours later the dressings that were applied were saturated with blood and the pin sites had to be redressed. To do so this process required two medical professionals, one to hold and elevate the fractured extremity and the other to apply the multiple layers of wound dressings.
Sterile Gauze Pads
Are Applied to the Surgical Pin Sites
Multiple Layers of Bandages are Applied
24 Hours Later
-This process was quite time consuming (about 15 minutes).
-This process required the assistance of two medical professionals.
-This process is uncomfortable and at times painful for the patient.
-This process potentially could destabilize the external fixator construct.
-This process required a plentiful amount of various expensive wound dressing materials.
-This process produced a large amount of medical waste per dressing change.
“Pin-tract infection is the major complication of external fixation and it can decrease the stability of the bone-pin interface.”
Journal of Medicine in the Tropics (2011 ) 13:2:105-108