A fracture of the hip is the most common serious orthopaedic injury, and surgical site infection (SSI) is one of the most significant complications, resulting in increased mortality, prolonged hospital stay and often the need for further surgery. Our aim was to determine whether high dose dual antibiotic impregnated bone cement decreases the rate of infection.
Patients and Methods
A quasi-randomised study of 848 patients with an intracapsular fracture of the hip was conducted in one large teaching hospital on two sites. All were treated with a hemiarthroplasty. A total of 448 patients received low dose single-antibiotic impregnated cement (control group) and 400 patients received high dose dual-antibiotic impregnated cement (intervention group). The primary outcome measure was deep SSI at one year after surgery.
The rate of deep SSI was 3.5% in the control group and 1.1% in the intervention group (p = 0.041; logistic regression adjusting for age and gender). The overall rate of non-infective surgical complications did not differ between the two groups (unadjusted chi-squared test; p > 0.999).
The use of high dose dual-antibiotic impregnated cement in these patients significantly reduces the rate of SSI compared with standard low dose single antibiotic loaded bone cement.