A single-center retrospective review of postoperative infectious complications in the surgical management of mandibular fractures: Postoperative antibiotics add no benefit

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BACKGROUNDMandibular fractures are common facial injuries and treatment may be complicated by post-operative infection. Risk of infection from contamination with oral flora is well established but no consensus exists regarding antibiotic prophylaxis. The purpose of this study is to assess risk factors and perioperative antibiotics on surgical site infection (SSI) rates following mandibular fracture surgery.METHODSRetrospective medical record review was completed for trauma patients of any age surgically treated for mandibular fractures at a Level I Trauma Center from September 2006 to June 2012. Outcomes analysis was performed to determine SSI rates related to perioperative antibiotic use and other risk factors that may contribute to SSI.RESULTS359 patients met inclusion criteria for analysis. 76% were male. Mean age was 30.5 years. Thirty-eight patients developed SSI (10.6%). SSI rate was lower in closed versus open surgery (3.2% vs. 16.3%, p=0.0001), and in closed versus open fractures (1% vs. 14%, p=0.0005). SSI rate increased in patients with tobacco, alcohol, and drug use (14.6%, 13.2%, 53.6%, p<0.0001), traumatic dental injuries (19.6%, p=0.0110), and patients in motor vehicle crashes (12.2%, p=0.0062). SSI rates stratified by Injury Severity Score (ISS) less than or equal to 16 (23/255 [9%]) versus ISS greater than 16 (15/104 [14%]) trended toward more severely injured patients developing SSI, p=0.1347. SSI rate was similar in patients who did and did not receive post-operative antibiotics (14.7% vs. 9.6%, p=0.2556). Type of antibiotic, duration of post-operative antibiotic administration, and duration between injury and surgery did not effect SSI rate.CONCLUSIONSFindings suggest that following surgical treatment of mandible fractures, open surgery, open fractures, and risk factors including substance abuse, traumatic dental injury, and mechanism of injury significantly increase SSI rates, while post-operative antibiotics do not appear to provide additional benefit compared to pre-operative antibiotics alone.LEVEL OF EVIDENCETherapeutic study, level IV.

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