This prospective study was designed to evaluate the rate of surgical site infection (SSI) after foot and ankle surgery in patients with and without diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The study prospectively evaluated 1,465 consecutive foot and ankle surgical cases performed by a single surgeon.
The overall SSI rate in this study was 3.5%, with significantly more infections occurring in individuals with diabetes than in those without (9.5 vs. 2.4%, P < 0.001). Peripheral neuropathy, Charcot neuroarthropathy, current or past smoking, and increasing length of surgery were significantly associated with SSI on multivariate analysis.
This study demonstrates significant associations between the development of SSI and chronic complications of diabetes. We confirm previous findings that it is peripheral neuropathy and not diabetes itself that most strongly determines the development of postoperative infections in these surgical patients.