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THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC OSTEOMYELITIS WITH THE MAGGOT (LARVA OF THE BLOW FLY)
WILLIAM S. BAER
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1931 Jul 01;13(3):438-475
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Abstract

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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    References

    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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