Infection After Shoulder Surgery

Matthew D. Saltzman, MD, Geoffrey S. Marecek, MD, Sara L. Edwards, MD and David M. Kalainov, MD J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2011 19

Infection after shoulder surgery is rare but potentially devastating. Normal skin flora, including Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Propionibacterium acnes, are the most commonly isolated pathogens. Perioperative measures to prevent infection are of paramount importance, and clinical acumen is necessary for diagnosis. Superficial infections may be managed with local wound measures and antibiotics; deep infections require surgical débridement in combination with antibiotic treatment. Treating physicians must make difficult decisions regarding antibiotic duration and the elimination of the offending organisms by resection arthroplasty, direct implant exchange, or staged revision arthroplasty. Eradication of a deep infection is usually successful, but the course of treatment is often protracted, and tissue destruction and scar may adversely affect functional outcome.

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