Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008 Nov 14. [Epub ahead of print] Koulouvaris P, Sculco P, Finerty E, Sculco T, Sharrock NE.
Surgical wound infection is a serious and potentially catastrophic complication after joint arthroplasty. Urinary tract infection is a common infection that creates a potential reservoir of resistant pathogens and increases patient morbidity. We asked whether treated preoperative and postoperative urinary tract infections are risk factors for deep joint infection. We examined the medical records of 19,735 patients. The minimum had joint infections develop. Of these, three had preoperative and four had postoperative urinary tract infections. The majority of bacteria were not enteric. The bacteria in the two types of infections were not identical. Control subjects were randomly selected from a list of patients matched with patients having infections. Of these, eight had preoperative and one had postoperative urinary tract infections. We found no association between the preoperative urinary tract infection (odds ratio, 0.341; 95% confidence interval, 0.086-1.357) or postoperative urinary tract infection (odds ratio, 4.222; 95% confidence interval, 0.457-38.9) and wound infection. Only one of the 58 patients with wound infections had a urinary tract infection with the same bacteria in both infections. Given the infection rate was very low (0.29%), the power of the study was only 25%. Although limited, the data suggest patients with urinary tract infections had no more likelihood of postoperative infection. We believe treated urinary tract infection should not be a reason to delay or postpone surgery. Level of Evidence: Level III, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.