The Role of Prophylactic Antibiotics for Percutaneous Procedures in Orthopaedic Surgery


Introduction This study investigates the current practice of surgeons in the United Kingdom with regards to their usage of prophylactic antibiotics for percutaneous orthopaedic procedures. Methods An electronic survey of 10 questions was devised and sent to all members of the British Orthopaedic Association. Three hundred and three replies were obtained (172 consultants, 131 trainees). Results Only half the numbers of orthopaedic surgeons would routinely use antibiotics for percutaneous K-wire fixation. Of the other half, 28% would never prescribe antibiotics and 22% would use them in special circumstances only. These ‘special circumstances’ were also not standardised. 92% of those who did prescribe antibiotics would administer single dose only and the majority (90%) would administer them during induction. There was no significant difference between trainees and consultants or between different orthopaedic procedures with regards to whether prophylactic antibiotics were prescribed or not. Discussion This survey highlights the split of opinion amongst practising orthopaedic surgeons as to the necessity or otherwise of antibiotic prophylaxis in percutaneous orthopaedic procedures. There are no reliable guidelines and further work should be carried out to investigate this subject.

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A. Gulati, A. Dixit and D. Williamson, "The Role of Prophylactic Antibiotics for Percutaneous Procedures in Orthopaedic Surgery," Surgical Science, Vol. 2 No. 6, 2011, pp. 348-352. doi: 10.4236/ss.2011.26075.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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