Is There a Seasonal Influence on Orthopaedic Surgical Wound Infection Rates?


Postoperative surgical wound infections are a significant cause of morbidity in orthopaedic surgical
cases. To date, there has been no large, single-institution study evaluating orthopaedic surgical wound infection rates and their correlation with seasonality. The hypothesis of this study was that there would be more infections in the warmer months of the year. A retrospective review of all orthopaedic surgery cases at the authors’ institution from 1992 to 2012 was performed of all patients with postoperative wound infections. Patients were placed into two groups on the basis of the date of initial surgical fixation: those occurring in warm months (May–September) and those occurring in cold months (October–April). From July 2010 to June 2012, there was not a statistically significant increase in total infection rate during the months of May to September compared with the months of October to April (0.8% and 0.6%, respectively; p D .131). The hypothesis was rejected: there was no significant increase in postoperative infections during the warmer months. Although previous studies have demonstrated such an increase, the results of this study, which were from a much larger cohort, disagree. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 25(3):172–175, 2016)
Key words: infection, orthopaedic, postoperative, seasonal, wound

SKU: JSOA-2016-25-3-F5 Categories: , Tags: , , , ,

Brittany E. Haws, BS; Benjamin M. Braun, MD; Trey B. Creech, MD; Eric R. Barnard, MD; and Anna N. Miller, MD