Arthroplasty is a common medical procedure aimed at improving functions and quality of life for patients, particularly those dealing with joint degradation due to age. Nevertheless, due to its invasive nature, post-surgery infections remain a major hurdle in patient care.
Focusing on post-discharge surgical site infections (SSI), this study aimed to investigate the incidence of SSIs and associated risk factors among the patients who underwent hip replacement surgery (HPRO) or knee replacement surgery (KPRO).
A cross-sectional retrospective analysis was conducted using anonymized data from 56,068 HPRO and 27,457 KPRO adult patients contained in the database of the National Health Found for 2017. In our cohort, the cumulative incidence of post-discharge SSI was 0.92% for HPRO and 0.95% for KPRO patients. Identified risk factors for SSIs after HPRO were male gender and conditions affecting the hematopoietic, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems. For KPRO, the main risk factor was the male gender.
Additional components that elevated the risk of developing SSIs comprised an intensive care unit (ICU) stay and antibiotics administered at discharge, which increased post-HPRO and KPRO SSIs detection by up to four and seven times, respectively. On a positive note, rehabilitation after surgery and total endoprosthesis were seen to decrease the incidence of SSIs. In addition, lower experience of the medical center was related to higher SSI incidence.
Notably, the cumulative post-discharge SSI incidence in Poland is higher than in other European countries, necessitating special attention, especially to patients with chronic diseases. The risk of SSIs is a grave concern for the healthcare system and patients, causing reduced quality of life, increased mortality risk, extended hospital stays, and augmented medical costs. This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of SSIs post-arthroplasty and inform prevention strategies and care routines.