A large body of evidence is emerging to implicate that dysregulation of the gut microbiome (dysbiosis) increases the risk of surgical site infections. Gut dysbiosis is known to occur in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), allowing for translocation of bacteria across the inflamed and highly permeable intestinal mucosal wall. The null hypothesis was that IBD was not associated with increased risk of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) after primary total hip and knee arthroplasty. Our aim was to investigate whether a prior diagnosis of IBD was associated with a higher risk of PJI following primary total hip and knee arthroplasty.
A matched cohort study was designed. Primary endpoint was the occurrence of PJI at 2-year. Secondary endpoints were aseptic revisions, as well as discharge to rehab facility, complications up to 30 days, and readmission up to 90 days after TJA. ICD-9 and −10 codes were used to identify patients with IBD and the control cohort. A chart review was performed to confirm diagnosis of IBD. Using our institutional database, 154 patients with IBD were identified and matched (3 to 1) for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), year of surgery, and joint affected with 462 individuals without IBD undergoing TJA.
The cumulative incidence of PJI was 4.55% among patients with IBD versus 1.32% among the control cohort (p=0.024). When bivariate logistic regression was performed, a diagnosis of IBD was found to be an independent risk factor for PJI (OR 3.56 95% C.I. 1.17 – 11.23; p=0.024) and aseptic revisions (OR 3.47, 95% C.I. 1.30 – 3.47; p=0.012). The rate of postoperative complications was also higher in patients with IBD.
Based on the findings of this study, it appears that patients with IBD are at higher risk for failure due to PJI or aseptic loosening after TJA. The exact reason for this finding is not known but could be related to the bacterial translocation from the inflamed intestinal mucosa, the dysregulated inflammatory status of these patients, malnutrition, and potentially other factors. Some of the so-called aseptic failures maybe also as a result of infection that may have escaped detection and/or recognition.