Optimisation of certain risk factors could reduce infection risk after surgery


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Researchers have identified five key risk factors linked to an increased risk of surgical site infection (SSI) after orthopaedic surgery and are recommending the 'optimisation' of modifiable risk factors prior to surgery to reduce the risk of post-operative infection. 

The study included 4,818 patients, aged 60 years or older, undergoing elective orthopaedic surgeries at two hospitals in China between January 2014 and September 2017. 

Seventy-four SSIs were identified within one year after surgery, 54 of which were classified as superficial SSIs and 20 as deep SSIs. The diagnosis of SSI was at the median of the 17th day, with the earliest on the second day and the latest at the 166th day post-operatively, the authors said.

The researchers found that diabetes mellitus, morbid obesity, smoking, prolonged surgical duration, and lower pre-operative albumin level (

Presenting the findings in the International Wound Journal, the authors said the data allow for individualised risk assessment and may improve preoperative counselling. “Accordingly, optimisation of the preoperative strategy of modest weight loss, aggressive diabetes management, supplementary nutrition, and smoking cessation is recommended to reduce the incidence of SSIs,” they concluded.