Is Climate Associated With Revision for Prosthetic Joint Infection After Primary TKA?


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Abstract

BackgroundClimate factors have been shown to be associated with spontaneous musculoskeletal and some surgical site infections with increased rates of infection during warmer periods. To date, little research has been performed to determine if this phenomenon is associated with differences in the risk of revision for prosthetic joint infection (PJI) in primary TKA.Questions/purposes(1) Does the rate of revision for early PJI within the first year after primary TKA differ between tropical and nontropical regions? (2) Is there a seasonal variation in the rate of revision for PJI? (3) Is the geographic and seasonal variation (if present) associated with the sex, age, and/or American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grade of the patient?MethodsAll 219,983 primary TKAs performed for osteoarthritis over a 5-year period (2011-2015) in the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry were examined based on the month of the primary procedure to determine the rate of revision for PJI within 12 months. The data were analyzed to determine the differences in the risk of revision for PJI based on geographic region and season of the primary procedure adjusting for sex, age, and ASA grade of the patient.ResultsThe early revision rate for PJI was higher in the tropical compared with the nontropical region of Australia (0.73% versus 0.37%; odds ratio [OR], 1.87; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.44-2.42; p < 0.001). The tropical region of Australia demonstrated a seasonal variation in the rate of revision for PJI with a higher rate during the warmer monsoon wet season of summer and fall (summer/fall 0.98% versus winter/spring 0.51%; OR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.12-3.16; p = 0.02). A seasonal variation was not seen in the nontropical region (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.90-1.19; p = 0.64). The regional and seasonal changes were independent of sex, age, and ASA grade.ConclusionsClimate factors are associated with the risk of early revision for PJI in patients undergoing primary TKA with rates of such revisions approximately double in tropical regions compared with nontropical regions. Additionally, tropical regions demonstrate a seasonal variation with the risk of PJI doubling during the warmer, monsoonal wet season of summer and fall. These findings should be confirmed in further studies that can better control for possible confounding variables. The mechanism for this phenomenon is not clear, and further research into this subject is also indicated.Level of EvidenceLevel III, therapeutic study.

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