In the surgical treatment of bone fractures or the insertion of artificial joints foreign material is introduced into the body. Bacteria easily adhere to its surface and form colonies in the form of biofilms, which are largely insensitive to antibiotics and immune defense due to their organization and specific metabolic behavior.
Elimination is usually possible only by replacing the implants. However, as small remnants of the bacterial colony remain even with the most thorough cleaning, immediate recolonizing of the new implant is to be expected. Until recently, it was therefore necessary to wait after each implant removal until renewed implantation seemed feasible.
By implantation of antibiotic-impregnated bone material the remains of biofilms can be killed, as well. This procedure is performed simultaneously with the implantation of the new joint prosthesis or stabilizing implant – thus the infected bone can, in most cases, be rehabilitated with a single surgical procedure.