Prosthetic joint infections (PJI) and fracture related infections (FRI) are the most challenging complications in orthopaedic surgery. An interdisciplinary approach is mandatory not only to correctly diagnose and treat major musculoskeletal infections but also to address the comorbidities and impairments these patients are not rarely suffering from. Since, little data exists on cardiac complications following PJI and FRI revision surgery, this study aimed to investigate the risk of perioperative myocardial injury (PMI) and mortality.
We prospectively included consecutive patients at high cardiovascular risk (defined as expected postoperative hospital stay of >24 hours PLUS age >45 years with pre-existing coronary, peripheral or cerebrovascular artery disease OR age >65 years) undergoing major orthopaedic surgery between 2014 and 2016. All patients received a systematic screening to reliably detect PMI, using serial measurements of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT). All-cause mortality was assessed at 30 days and one year. Multivariable logistic regression models were applied to compare incidence of PMI and mortality between patients undergoing septic revision surgery (for PJI/FRI) and patients receiving aseptic major bone and joint surgery.
In total 911 consecutive patients, with an overall PMI rate of 15.4% (n=140) were included. The PMI incidence in patients undergoing septic revision surgery was significantly higher compared to aseptic orthopaedic surgeries (29.2% vs 14.3%, p=0.001), also after multivariable adjustment (odds ratio 2.1, p=0.02). Mortality was higher at one year (16.9% vs. 8.3%, p=0.037) and numerically at 30 days (6.2% vs. 2.4%, p=0.085) in patients undergoing septic revision surgery. Virulence of the disease-causing pathogen showed no significant relationship with PMI incidence or mortality.
Patients undergoing revision surgery for PJI or FRI were at a distinct higher risk of PMI and death compared to matched non-septic patients. In major bone and joint infections screening for PMI and treatment in specialized multidisciplinary units should be considered.