The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 9, 2102 - 2106

Have We Actually Reduced Our 30-Day Short-Term Surgical Site Infection Rates in Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty in the United States?

Sodhi, Nipun et al.


The purpose of this study is to track the 30-day postoperative annual rates and trends of (1) overall, (2) deep, and (3) superficial surgical site infections (SSIs) following total hip arthroplasty (THA) using a large nationwide database.


The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was queried for all THA cases performed between 2012 and 2016. After an overall 5-year correlation and trends analysis, univariate analysis was performed to compare the most recent year, 2016, with the preceding 4 years. Correlation coefficients and chi-squared tests were used to determine correlation and statistical significance.


The lowest incidence of SSIs was in the most recent year, 2016 (0.81%), while the greatest incidence was in the earliest year, 2012 (1.12%), marking a 31% decrease ( P < .01). The lowest rate was in the most recent year, 2016 (0.23%), marking a 26% decrease from 2012. The lowest superficial SSI incidence occurred in the most recent year, 2016 (0.58%), while greatest incidence was in 2012 (0.83%), marking a 31% decrease over time ( P < .05). There was an inverse correlation among overall, deep, and superficial SSI rates with operative year.


The findings from this study suggest a decreasing trend in SSIs within 30 days following THA. Furthermore, deep SSIs, which can pose substantial threats to implant survivorship, have also decreased throughout the years. These results highlight that potentially through improved medical and surgical techniques, we are winning the fight against short-term infections, but that more can still be done.

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