Research Article| Volume 41, ISSUE 4, P396-399, April 2010

Postoperative surgical site infection following acetabular fracture fixation


      Postoperative surgical site infection (SSI) in orthopaedic trauma surgery is uncommon, but can present serious complications. This study was designed to assess the prevalence of, and to identify the risk factors for, SSI following acetabular fracture open reduction and internal fixation. A total of 326 consecutive patients who underwent acetabular fracture surgery were retrospectively reviewed. There were 17 patients (5.2%) who developed a SSI, including 10 deep infections and 7 superficial infections. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common causative pathogens in 9 patients, and was Methicillin-resistant in 3 patients. Enterococcus faecalis was found in 6 patients, Staphylococcus epidermidis in 3 patients, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and enterbacter cloacae in 2 patients each. Fourteen of 17 patients developed their infection within 4 weeks after the fixation. Univariate analysis demonstrated that the SSI group had statistically significant higher Injury Severity Score, longer intensive care unit (ICU) stays, larger amount of packed red blood cells transfused, longer operative time, larger estimated operative blood loss, higher body mass index (BMI), more frequent performance of combined approach, embolisation of internal iliac arteries, association of urinary tract injury, and Morel-Lavallée lesion compared to the no SSI group. Multivariate analysis using these 10 parameters showed that BMI, ICU stay, and Morel-Lavallée lesion were independently significant risk factors for SSI. To reduce the incidence of SSI following acetabular fracture surgery, special attention should be directed at the care of obese patients, patients requiring ICU care, and patients with associated Morel-Lavallée lesions.


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