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Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 1931;13:438-475.
© 1931 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc


THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC OSTEOMYELITIS WITH THE MAGGOT (LARVA OF THE BLOW FLY)

WILLIAM S. BAER M.D.

1. Maggots have been found to be a tremendously useful adjunct to thorough surgical treatment of chronic osteomyelitis, and, in our opinion, are far more successful in securing permanent healing of these extensive wounds than any other method tried by us.

2. Maggots, by their digestive action, clear away the minute fragments of bone and tissue sloughs caused by operative trauma in a way not accomplished by any other means. This is a tremendously valuable asset in the healing of a wound.

3. Maggots cause wounds to become alkaline and in this way diminish growth of pathogenic bacteria.

4. Maggots seem to have other more subtle biochemical effects within the wound itself and perhaps cause also a constitutional reaction inimical to bacterial growth. This is under investigation.

5. Maggots as raised and sterilized in the manner described may be used in any wound without risk to the patient.

6. The post-traumatic or postoperative general condition of the patient is better in maggot treatment than in the older forms of treatment where infection was combatted by chemicals or other types of dressing. There is less absorption and less toxic reaction.

7. In open tuberculous abscesses, with or without secondary infection, wide exposure followed by maggot treatment has proved surprisingly effective in a small number of cases and will be given further trial.




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