Surgical site infection is one of the most common complications following ankle fracture surgery. These infections are associated with substantial morbidity and lead to increased resource utilization. Identification of risk factors is crucial for developing strategies to prevent these complications.Methods:
We performed an age and sex-matched case-control study to identify patient and surgery-related risk factors for deep surgical site infection following operative ankle fracture treatment. We identified 1923 ankle fracture operations performed in 1915 patients from 2006 through 2009. A total of 131 patients with deep infection were identified and compared with an equal number of uninfected control patients. Risk factors for infection were determined with use of conditional logistic regression analysis.Results:
The incidence of deep infection was 6.8%. Univariate analysis showed diabetes (odds ratio [OR] = 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0, 4.9), alcohol abuse (OR = 3.8, 95% CI = 1.6, 9.4), fracture-dislocation (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.2, 3.5), and soft-tissue injury (a Tscherne grade of ≥1) (OR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.3, 5.3) to be significant patient-related risk factors for infection. Surgery-related risk factors were suboptimal timing of prophylactic antibiotics (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.0, 3.4), difficulties encountered during surgery, (OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.1, 4.0), wound complications (OR = 4.8, 95% CI = 1.6, 14.0), and fracture malreduction (OR = 3.4, 95% CI = 1.3, 9.2). Independent risk factors for infection identified by multivariable analyses were tobacco use (OR = 3.7, 95% CI = 1.6, 8.5) and a duration of surgery of more than ninety minutes (OR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.1, 5.7). Cast application in the operating room was independently associated with a decreased infection rate (OR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.2, 0.8).Conclusions:
We identified several modifiable risk factors for deep surgical site infection following operative treatment of ankle fractures.Level of Evidence:
Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.