Hospitals specializing in orthopedics are associated with lower rates of surgical site infection


06 Aug 2021

1 minute read

Disclosures: Yayac does not report any relevant financial disclosure. Please see the study for relevant financial information from all other authors.


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Compared to tertiary care facilities, hospitals specializing in orthopedics are associated with lower rates of deep surgical site infections at 1 year, according to published results.

Michael Yayac, MD, and colleagues at the Rothman Orthopedic Institute at Thomas Jefferson University analyzed data from 20,264 patients who had surgery in a tertiary hospital and 7,169 patients who had surgery in a specialty hospital from 2010 to 2017 .

Yayac graphic
“Although tertiary hospitals care for older patients with more medical co-morbidities, patients undergoing orthopedic procedures in a specialty hospital may be at lower risk of infection.” Data were derived from Yayac M, et al. Orthopedics. 2021; doi: 10.3928 / 01477447-20210618-11.

According to the study, the type of intervention included total hip (39.4%), knee (36%) and shoulder (17.7%) arthrodesis, as well as lumbar arthrodesis at one point. single level (6.9%). The primary outcome was the development of a deep surgical site infection (SSI) within one year of the baseline procedure.

Yayac and colleagues found that 0.6% of patients (n = 116) who had surgery in a tertiary hospital and 0.2% (n = 12) of patients who had surgery in a specialty hospital had one-year deep ISO impact. The highest incidence of deep SSI at 1 year was observed in patients with single stage lumbar arthrodesis in a tertiary hospital (1.6%, n = 23 patients).

Multivariate analysis revealed that patients undergoing surgery in a specialized hospital had a significantly lower risk of infection than patients undergoing surgery in a tertiary hospital; However, after testing for a healthier patient population, the researchers found that procedures performed in a specialist hospital were independent predictors of infection within a year.

“Although tertiary hospitals care for older patients with more medical co-morbidities, patients undergoing orthopedic procedures in a specialty hospital may be at lower risk of infection,” the researchers wrote in the study. “Further study is needed to identify the processes associated with reduced infection rates and to determine whether they can be adopted in tertiary centers,” they added.


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