A nationwide analysis of failed irrigation and debridement for pediatric septic arthritis of the hip

Andrew F Sabour, Ram K Alluri, Nathanael Heckmann, Keemia S Heidari, George F Rick Hatch, Curtis VandenBerg
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. Part B 2019, 28 (5): 470-475
Irrigation and debridement (I&D) is the gold standard for treatment of pediatric septic arthritis of the hip. If the index surgery fails, subsequent surgery may be required to eradicate the infection, resulting in substantial increases in morbidity, healthcare costs, and psychosocial burden. The purpose of this study was to identify the incidence of failed I&D for pediatric septic arthritis of the hip, defined by the need for at least one subsequent surgical intervention, and potential risk factors for failed initial I&D. The Kids' Inpatient Database was used to extract data for pediatric patients diagnosed with septic arthritis of the hip from 1997 to 2012. Factors such as patient demographics, preoperative comorbidities, inpatient variables, and hospitals variables were assessed for associations with successful versus failed I&Ds. During the period examined, 3341 (94.3%) children were successfully treated with a single I&D, whereas 203 (5.7%) children required at least one additional surgery during the same hospitalization. Univariate analysis found anemia, coagulopathy, and electrolyte disorders to be associated with repeat surgery. Patients who required multiple surgeries had significantly longer lengths of stay (11.3 vs. 6.9 days), higher likelihood of being discharged with home health (39 vs. 25%), and higher total overall inpatient costs ($58 400 vs. $31 900). On the basis of the results of this study, the nationwide incidence of patients requiring multiple I&Ds was 5.7%. Patient preoperative comorbidities such as coagulopathy, and hospital characteristics such as government ownership and teaching status were significantly associated with failed initial I&D for septic arthritis of the hip. We believe this data can be useful in guiding future research efforts and providing clearer anticipatory guidance to patients and guardians. Level of evidence: Level III: Retrospective comparative study.

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