OBJECTIVES: To determine if the use of intrawound vancomycin powder reduces surgical-site infection after open reduction and internal fixation of bicondylar tibial plateau, tibial pilon, and calcaneus fractures. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis. SETTING: Level I trauma center. PATIENTS: All fractures operatively treated from January 2011 to February 2015 were reviewed; 583 high-risk fractures were included, of which 35 received topical vancomycin powder. A previously published prospectively collected cohort of 235 similar high-risk fractures treated at our center from 2007 through 2010 served as a second comparison group. INTERVENTION: Topical vancomycin powder at wound closure. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Deep surgical-site infection. Analyses used both univariate comparison of all patients and 1:2 matching analysis using both nearest neighbor and propensity-based matching. RESULTS: Compared with a control group of fractures treated during the same time period without vancomycin powder, the infection rate with vancomycin powder was significantly lower [0% (0/35) vs. 10.6% (58/548), P = 0.04]. Compared with our previously published historical infection rate of 13% for these injuries, vancomycin powder was also associated with significantly decreased deep surgical-site infection (0% vs. 13%, P = 0.02). These results agreed with the matched analyses, which also showed lower infection in the vancomycin powder group (0% vs. 11%-16%, P ≤ 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Vancomycin powder may play a role in lowering surgical-site infection rates after fracture fixation. A larger randomized controlled trial is needed to validate our findings. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine