Use of a Silver Nylon Dressing Following Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Decreases the Postoperative Infection Rate

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Abstract

Introduction:

Prosthetic joint infection (PJI) is a potentially catastrophic complication of total joint replacement. Our purpose was to determine whether the use of a silver dressing reduces the incidence of superficial and deep PJI following primary total hip replacement and total knee replacement.

Methods:

A case-control study of primary total hip replacement and total knee replacement was performed to compare the incidence of superficial and deep PJI in patients who received a silver nylon dressing with patients who received a standard dressing.

Results:

The incidence of infection was significantly lower in the study group compared with the control group. There were no deep PJIs in the silver dressing group. Twelve patients (2.3%) in the control group developed PJI.

Discussion:

The use of a silver dressing significantly reduced the incidence of superficial and deep PJI following total joint replacement (P = 0.010). Given the financial impact of PJI, the application of silver dressings may result in considerable cost savings, and a formal cost-benefit analysis could be investigated.

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