Clostridium septicum gangrene complicating a closed femoral fracture.

Published online: Dec 27 1993

T Mulier, M Morgan, and G Fabry.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Pellenberg, Belgium.


One of the basic principles of orthopedic surgery is that gas gangrene does not develop in closed fractures. That there are exceptions to this rule is demonstrated by the following report of an extremely rare case. Clostridium septicum myonecrosis developed after surgical treatment of a closed femoral fracture in a fit 45-year-old man, treated by antibiotics. The patient survived after having a right hip disarticulation and administration of high doses of intravenous penicillin. Prophylactically administered cephalosporins failed to prevent the Clostridial infection.