Orthopaedic surgeries tend to be long and often involve the implantation of large permanent implants (such as bone plates and hip replacement implants) into wounds. These factors mean that the risk of infection following orthopaedic surgery is generally greater than after other types of surgery. To minmise this risk we have invested in a purpose-built surgical suite with its own positive-pressure air filtration system (isolated from the rest of the practice) and we have strict protocols in place to minmise the risk of inadvertent wound contamination during surgery.

However, even the best systems can occasionally fail and so another important part of our infection control programme is regular audit of our postoperative infection rates. This allows us to identify any increase in infection rates, consider why this may be and take steps to remedy the situation.

We were the first referral hospital to publish this information on-line, back in June 2009. We hope that by doing this, you (our referring colleagues and the owners of our patients) will feel confident in the level of care we are providing and feel safe in the knowledge that we are constantly striving to improve.

AMVS infection rates following orthopaedic surgery:*

Overall orthopaedic infection rate: 1.8%

Infection rate where permanent implants placed: 3.3%

Arthroscopy: 0%

MRSA infection rate: 0%

Infection rates of around 5% are considered acceptable in human hospitals (this includes all surgeries, not specifically orthopaedic surgeries).

*based on a review of orthopaedic surgeries for the 6 months December 2011 to May 2012, performed December 2012. These figures include deep infections, confirmed by cytology and/or bacterial culture and/or strong clinical suspicion. 

For further information please contact Andy Moores.

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