Risk of Surgical Site Infection in Elective Hip and Knee Replacements After Confirmed Eradication of MRSA in Chronic Carriers



      Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is globally endemic and is a leading cause of surgical site infection (SSI). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence of SSI in MRSA carriers undergoing elective hip or knee arthroplasty, who had confirmed eradication and to compare it with incidence of SSI in non-MRSA carriers.


      This is a retrospective analysis of 6613 patients who underwent elective total hip arthroplasty (THA; n = 3347) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA; n = 3266) at our institution. A cohort of patients who were preoperatively colonized with MRSA was identified. We compared the infection rates with non-MRSA carriers.


      We had a colonization rate of 1.3% (83 patients). A total of 79 patients had confirmed eradication of carrier status before surgical intervention. Of these, 38 were THAs and 41 were TKAs. Five of 79 patients (6.32%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.35%-14.79%) had “deep SSI” within 1 year of surgery. There were 2 MRSA infections in THAs (relative risk 4.46; 95% CI: 1.12-17.82). There were 2 MRSA and 1 methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus infections in TKAs (relative risk 5.61; 95% CI: 1.81-17.38). A significant statistical difference in infection rates from MRSA negative control group was noted, which had a deep sepsis rate of 1.17% in THAs and 1.3% in TKAs over the same period.


      In spite of a selective treatment program for carriers and confirmed eradication, there is still a significantly increased risk of SSI in MRSA-colonized patients undergoing hip or knee arthroplasties.


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