Background: Osteomyelitis is a challenge for orthopedic surgeons due to its protracted treatment process. Microwaves (MWs) can increase blood perfusion due to their thermal effect. Furthermore, MWs demonstrated significant bactericidal effects in vitro. In the present study, we assumed that the application of a 2450-MHz-frequency MW together with systemic antibiotic treatment would provide synergy for the treatment of acute osteomyelitis. Methods: The medullary cavity of the right tibia was inoculated with 107 CFU of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA-ATCC 29213) in 40 rats, and the rats were randomly divided into four groups according to treatment: group I, saline (control); group II, saline + MW therapy; group III, systemic cefuroxime; and group IV, systemic cefuroxime + MW therapy. MWs were applied for 20 min per day to the infected limbs, and all rats were sacrificed on the 7th day. The severity of tibial osteomyelitis was assessed by quantitative culture analysis. Results: Bacterial counts in groups III and IV were significantly reduced compared with those in the control (p = 0.001 and < 0.001, respectively). Furthermore, significant differences were detected between groups III and IV (p = 0.033). However, the difference between groups I and II was nonsignificant (p = 0.287). Conclusion: Our experimental model suggests that MW therapy provides a significant synergy for systemic antibiotic treatment. However, further clinical trials are required to safely use this treatment modality in patients.
Qi, X. Y., Qiu, X. S., Jiang, J. Y., Chen, Y. X., Tang, L. M., & Shi, H. F. (2019). Microwaves increase the effectiveness of systemic antibiotic treatment in acute bone infection: Experimental study in a rat model. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13018-019-1342-3