November 09, 2016
1 min read

Older age, obesity cited as risk factors for deep SSI after plate fixation of proximal tibial fractures

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Researchers of this study identified older patient age, obesity, alcohol abuse and specific fracture type as risk factors for deep surgical site infection among patients who underwent plate fixation for proximal tibial fractures.

Researchers identified 655 patients with proximal tibial fractures treated with open reduction and plate fixation at the Helsinki University Hospital between 2004 and 2013. Of this group, 34 patients had deep surgical site infections (SSIs). The group was compared with a matched cohort of 136 randomly selected, non-infected patients.

Investigators found the rate of deep SSI was 5.2%. They noted the mean age of affected patients was 55 years. In addition, 35% of infected patients were female. Within 2 months of the procedure, 28 deep SSIs were diagnosed. The remaining six infections were diagnosed more than 6 months after fixation. Investigators found 17 patients required muscle flap coverage. Five patients went on to above-the-knee amputation.

According to researchers, patients who 50 years of age or older had a 3.6 higher odds of deep SSI and those with a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 had a 6.5-times higher chance for deep SSI. A history of alcohol abuse and an OTA/AO type-C fracture were linked with odds ratios of 6.7 and 2.8, respectively, for deep SSI. -by Dan O’Neill and Gina Brockenbrough, MA



Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.