Deep infection following reconstruction of pelvic fractures: prevalence, characteristics, and predisposing risk factors

Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg. 2021 Mar 8. doi: 10.1007/s00068-021-01618-y. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: To identify the incidence, risk factors, and treatment course of patients who developed deep infection following fixation of pelvic fractures.

METHODS: Over a period of 8 years patients who underwent pelvic reconstruction in our institution and developed postoperative infection were included. Exclusion criteria were pathological fractures and infections that were not secondary to post-traumatic reconstruction. The mean time of follow-up was 43.6 months (33-144). For comparison purposes, we randomly selected patients that underwent pelvic fracture fixation from our database (control group). A logistic regression was fitted to patient characteristics including age, sex, ISS, and diabetic status.

RESULTS: Out of 858 patients, 18 (2.1%) (12 males), with a mean age of 41 (18-73) met the inclusion criteria. The control group consisted of 82 patients with a mean age of 41 years (18-72). The mean ISS was 27.7 and 17.6 in the infection and control group, respectively. The mean time from pelvic reconstruction to the diagnosis of infection was 20 days (7-80). The median number of trips to theatre was 3 (1-16). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was the most frequently isolated organism in the years prior to 2012. Eradication was achieved in 93% of the patients. The most important risk factors for deep infection were ISS (OR 1.08, 1.03-1.13), posterior sacral approach (OR 17.03, 1.49-194.40), and diabetes (OR 36.85, 3.54-383.70).

CONCLUSION: In this retrospective case-control study, deep infection following pelvic trauma was rare. A number of patient-, injury- and surgery-related factors have shown strong correlation with this serious complication.

PMID:33683381 | DOI:10.1007/s00068-021-01618-y