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Prevention of prosthetic joint and other types of orthopedic hardware infection

Elie Berbari, MD, FIDSA
Larry M Baddour, MD, FIDSA, FAHA
Section Editor
Daniel J Sexton, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


Management of orthopedic hardware infection (including prosthetic joint infection as well as other types of orthopedic hardware) requires multiple surgical interventions and prolonged antibiotic therapy; treatment failure is common. Given the challenges associated with treating orthopedic hardware infection, prevention of infection is clearly desirable.

Most literature regarding prevention of orthopedic hardware infection is derived from prosthetic joint infection since this is the most common type of orthopedic hardware placement. Data regarding other types of orthopedic hardware are limited; however, in general, similar principles of prevention may be applied.

Issues relating to the prevention of orthopedic hardware infection will be reviewed here; guidelines addressing these issues include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline for prevention of surgical site infection [1], the National Surgical Infection Prevention Project [2,3], guidelines from the Medical Letter (table 1) [4], guidelines from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists [5], and an Advisory Statement from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons [6].

General principles for prevention of surgical site infection are discussed separately. (See "Overview of control measures for prevention of surgical site infection in adults".)

The epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of orthopedic hardware infections are discussed separately. (See "Prosthetic joint infection: Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis" and "Prosthetic joint infection: Treatment".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 27, 2017.
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