Impact of operative time on early joint infection and deep vein thrombosis in primary total hip arthroplasty

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Infections and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after total hip arthroplasty (THA) are challenging problems for both the patient and surgeon. Previous studies have identified numerous risk factors for infections and DVT after THA but have often been limited by sample size. We aimed to evaluate the effect of operative time on early postoperative infection as well as DVT rates following THA. We hypothesized that an increase in operative time would result in increased odds of acquiring an infection as well as a DVT. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data using the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database from 2006 to 2015 for all patients undergoing primary THA. Associations between operative time and infection or DVT were evaluated with multivariable logistic regressions controlling for demographics and several known risks factors for infection. Three different types of infections were evaluated: 1) superficial surgical site infection (SSI), an infection involving the skin or subcutaneous tissue, 2) deep SSI, an infection involving the muscle or fascial layers beneath the subcutaneous tissue, and 3) organ/space infection, an infection involving any part of the anatomy manipulated during surgery other than the incisional components. Results: In total, 103,044 patients who underwent THA were included in our study. Our results suggested a significant association between superficial SSIs and operative time. Specifically, the adjusted odds of suffering a superficial SSI increased by 6% (CI = 1.04–1.08, P < 0.0001) for every 10-minute increase of operative time. When using dichotomized operative time (< 90 minutes or > 90 minutes), the adjusted odds of suffering a superficial SSI was 56% higher for patients with prolonged operative time (CI = 1.05–2.32, P = 0.0277). The adjusted odds of suffering a deep SSI increased by 7% for every 10-minute increase in operative time (CI = 1.01–1.14, P = 0.0335). No significant associations were detected between organ/space infection, wound dehiscence, or DVT and operative time either as continuous or as dichotomized. Conclusion: Prolonged operative times (> 90 min) are associated with increased rates of superficial SSIs, but not deep SSIs, organ/space infections, wound dehiscence, or DVT. Level of evidence: III.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wills BW; Sheppard ED; Smith WR; Staggers JR; Li P; Shah A; Lee SR; Naranje SM
  • Start Page

  • 311
  • Volume

  • 104
  • Issue

  • 4