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The role of preoperative glycemic control in decreasing surgical site infections in lower extremity fractures

J Orthop Surg Res. 2023 Sep 19;18(1):700. doi: 10.1186/s13018-023-04204-7.


BACKGROUND: Postoperative surgical site infections (SSIs) are an important complication to prevent in surgical treatment. Patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) have a higher risk of SSIs. Preoperative glycemic control is required. For patients with orthopedic trauma, the duration of preoperative glycemic control is limited because delaying operative treatment is difficult. However, whether preoperative glycemic control would decrease the risk of SSIs in diabetic patients with lower extremity fractures is unclear. The first aim of this study was to investigate the rate of SSIs among patients with DM who had undergone preoperative glycemic control, compared with that of patients without DM. As the secondary aim, we sought to demonstrate among patients with DM whether preoperative glycemic control would affect the development of SSIs between patients with controlled DM and patients with poorly controlled DM.

METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, 1510 patients treated surgically for lower extremity fractures were enrolled. Data collected were patient age, sex, body mass index, history of DM, development of SSIs, tobacco use, the presence of an open fracture, the period between the day of injury and the operation, the length of surgery, and blood glucose levels on admission and on the day before surgery.

RESULTS: The rate of total SSIs was 6.0% among patients with DM and 4.4% among patients without DM (p = 0.31). Multivariate logistic regression revealed a significant association between the development of SSIs and the presence of DM (odds ratio, 1.79; 95% confidence interval 1.01-3.19; p = 0.047). The results of the secondary study revealed that the rate of early SSIs was significantly higher in the poorly controlled DM group than in the controlled DM group (5.9% vs. 1.5%; p = 0.032). However, multivariate logistic regression revealed that control levels of DM were not significantly associated with the development of SSIs.

CONCLUSIONS: Even though patients with DM had undergone preoperative glycemic control, SSIs were significantly associated with DM, especially when the patients had poorly controlled DM. This finding suggested that continuous glycemic control is important preoperatively and postoperatively to prevent SSIs.

PMID:37723461 | DOI:10.1186/s13018-023-04204-7

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