Associations between season and surgical site infections in orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery

Academic Article


  • Background: Surgical site infections (SSI) in orthopaedic surgery are common nosocomial complications that contribute significantly to patient morbidity and increased healthcare costs. While past studies support an increase in the incidence of SSI during the summer months in orthopaedic spine surgery and joint arthroplasty, there has not been any study examining the association between season and SSI in the setting of orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery. Methods: A retrospective analysis of data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) database from 2011–2015 was conducted. 17,939 patients who received at least one of 218 CPT codes specific to orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery were identfied from the NSQIP database. Descriptive statistics of patient demographics, comorbidities, and complications were stratified by quarter of admission. Results: Of the 17,939 patients, there were 4995 in the 1st quarter (27.8%), 4078 in the 2nd quarter (22.7%), 4333 in the 3rd quarter (24.2%), and 4533 in the 4th quarter (25.3%). The overall rate of surgical complications was 2.3%. The highest incidence of surgical complications was during the summer at 2.7% and the lowest was during the fall at 2.1% (p = 0.338). The summer months also demonstrated the highest incidence of medical complications at 5.9% (p = 0.524). There were significantly more women undergoing surgery in the winter and summer months (p = 0.028). Conclusion: The surgical site infection rate in the setting of orthopaedic foot and ankle surgery was higher, although not significantly, in the summer months. Level of evidence: Level III retrospective.
  • Published In

  • The Foot  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Huntley SR; Lee S; Kalra R; McGwin G; Naranje S; Shah A
  • Start Page

  • 61
  • End Page

  • 64
  • Volume

  • 37