An Ace up the Sleeve for Doctor’s

Im sure at some point in your life you have wondered about the instruments/tools/toys your physician uses on a daily basis. Lets be honest, your physician is like the Empire in Star Wars; they get all the really cool gadgets. Just when you think they couldnt possibly have anything else to play with, you find out they are playing with putty mixed with antibiotics. This putty mixed with antibiotics is an Ace up the sleeve in combating infection. We refer to it as Antibiotic beads. Yes, it is arts and crafts.

Deep infections can be very difficult to treat and often times require extensive surgical treatment and long courses of IV antibiotics. IV antibiotics work well, but they can cause havoc to your kidneys and depending on blood flow may not fully reach the area of interest. This is when we introduce our Ace of Spades: Antibiotic Beads. The antibiotic is mixed with a biocompatible cement, formed into small or large beads, and placed directly into the wound. Some physicians leave the beads in until they fully dissolve while others will remove the beads after a designated time frame.

Antibiotic beads allow the physician to place an antibiotic right on target. I would liken it to laser guided missiles the military uses. Aerial bombing is effective, but if you could also place a bomb directly where you want, the effect is even more powerful. Antibiotic beads are not used alone. They are a wonderful adjunct to surgical debridement and IV/oral antibiotic use.

As the Gambler once said, youve got to know when to holdem, know when to foldem. With Antibiotic beads, folding is that much further away.

If you have any foot/ankle related concerns and are in need of care, please contact Dr. Bowman at 713-467-8886 or visit

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Category: General

Tags: Antibiotic Beads, Infection, treatment options, Ulcers