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Proximal femoral fractures (PFFs) are a major health concern in the elderly population. Improvements made in implants and surgical techniques resulted in faster rehabilitation and shorter length of hospital stay. Despite this, the reduced physiological reserve, associated co-morbidities and polypharmacy intake of the elderly population put them at high risk of postoperative complications particularly of infectious origin. Out of 10061 patients with proximal femoral fractures 105 (1.05%) developed surgical site infection; 76 (72%) infections occurred in patients who had sustained intracapsular (IC) fractures with the remaining 29 (28%) infections occurring in patients with extracapsular (EC) neck of femur fractures. The median number of additional surgical debridements was 2 (range 1-7). MRSA was isolated in 49 (47%) of the cases; 38 patients (36%) ultimately underwent a Girdlestone's excisional arthroplasty. Mortality at 30 days and 3 months was 10% and 31%, respectively. It was noted that post-operative hip infection predisposed to a prolonged length of stay in the acute unit and subsequently to a more dependent destination after discharge.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/S0020-1383(11)70130-9

Type

Journal article

Journal

Injury

Publication Date

12/2011

Volume

42 Suppl 5

Pages

S28 - S34

Keywords

Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Female, Femoral Fractures, Femoral Neck Fractures, Health Care Costs, Hip Fractures, Humans, Length of Stay, Male, Postoperative Complications, Reoperation, Surgical Wound Infection