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Case Reports in Orthopedics
Volume 2012, Article ID 381490, 3 pages
Case Report

Nonabsorbable-Suture-Induced Osteomyelitis: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

1The Orthopaedics Department, Toowoomba Base Hospital The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Perchey Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350, Australia
2The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 28 Woodville Road, Woodville West SA 5011, Australia

Received 13 April 2012; Accepted 22 August 2012

Academic Editors: R. A. Gosselin, M. Gotoh, and M. E. Lovell

Copyright © 2012 Cheng Hong Yeo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We are reporting a case of nonabsorbable suture-induced osteomyelitis in patient who had an open rotator cuff repair with nonabsorbable Ethibond anchor suture. Patient in this case presented with very subtle clinical features of osteomyelitis of the left proximal humerus 15 years after initial rotator cuff repair surgery. Literature had shown that deep infection following rotator cuff repairs, although rare, can be easily missed and can cause severe complications. Absorbable suture had been demonstrated to be more superior, in terms of rate of deep infection, as compared to nonabsorbable suture when used in rotator cuff repair surgery. Both absorbable and nonabsorbable suture had been demonstrated to have similar mechanical properties by several different studies. The case demonstrated that initial presentation of deep infection can be subtle and easily missed by clinicians and leads to further complications.