Etiology of surgical site infections after primary total joint arthroplasties

Natividad Benito, María Franco, Pere Coll, María Luz Gálvez, Marcos Jordán, Joaquín López-Contreras, Virginia Pomar, Joan Carles Monllau, Beatriz Mirelis, Mercè Gurguí

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28 Citations (Scopus)


We sought to characterize the causative pathogens of surgical site infections (SSIs) following primary total joint arthroplasties and to evaluate trends in the microbial etiology. We analyzed the etiology of SSIs following 2,632 total hip arthroplasty and knee arthroplasty procedures performed at our institution from 2004 through 2010. We calculated the annual proportion of SSIs accounted for each of the most common organisms and evaluated trends using the χ2 test for trend. SSIs were identified in 111 procedures (4.2%). The annual incidence of SSIs did not change significantly during the study period. Staphylococci were the most common cause of infection (59.6%) and most of infections were monomicrobial (82.8%). From 2004 to 2010, the annual proportion of infections due to gram-negative bacilli (GNB) increased from 21.4% to 66.7% (p = 0.085 for trend). This increase was accompanied by a decline in the proportion of SSIs from coagulase-negative staphylococci (p = 0.003). Additionally, we found an increase in the percentage of polymicrobial infections (from 7.1% in 2004 to 41.7% in 2010, p = 0.014). Multivariate analysis corroborated these trends. Our study reports an emergence of GNB as a cause of SSIs after primary total joint arthroplaties and an increase of polymicrobial infections. © 2014 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-637
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • arthroplasty
  • microbial etiology
  • prosthetic joint infections
  • prosthetic joint replacement
  • surgical site infections


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