Local antibiotics in primary hip and knee arthroplasty: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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BACKGROUND: Infection is a truly devastating complication of total joint arthroplasty, causing most patients to undergo a revision surgery, and to bear significant psychological and financial burden. The purpose of this study is to systematically evaluate the literature to determine the efficacy and complication profile of local antibiotic application in primary total joint arthroplasty. METHODS: All studies of primary total joint arthroplasty which assessed local antibiotics in any form other than antibiotic-impregnated cement as an intervention were included. Studies that reported at least one outcome related to infection and were available in full text in English were eligible for inclusion. Studies which included both primary and revision cases but did not report the stratified data for each type of surgery and studies on fracture populations were excluded. RESULTS: A total of 9 studies involving 3,714 cases were included. The pooled deep infection rate was 1.6% in the intervention groups and 3.5% in the control groups. Meta-analysis revealed a RR of 0.53 (95%CI: 0.35-0.79, p = 0.002) with no heterogeneity (I2 = 0%) for infection in the intervention groups. Meta-analysis revealed a non-significant reduction in superficial infection rates in the intervention groups; however, there was a significant increase in aseptic wound complications in the intervention groups. CONCLUSION: Local antibiotic application results in a moderate reduction in deep infection rates in primary total joint arthroplasty, with no significant impact on superficial infection rates. However, local antibiotic application may be associated with a moderate increase in aseptic wound complications.
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