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    Supracondylar humerus (SCH) fracture is the most common elbow injury in children and often treated with closed reduction and percutaneous pinning (CRPP). There is little published evidence supporting or refuting the use of perioperative prophylactic antibiotics for SCH CRPP in the pediatric population. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the rate of surgical site infection for patients with and without preoperative antibiotics. A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients less than or equal to 16 years from 2012 to 2018 who underwent primary CRPP. Open fractures, multilimbed polytraumas, and immunodeficient patients were excluded. Infection rates were compared using a noninferiority test assuming a 3% infection rate and a predefined noninferiority margin of 4%. A total of 255 patients were needed to adequately power the study. Of the 1253 cases identified, 845 met eligibility criteria. A total of 337 received antibiotics, and 508 did not. Preoperative nerve injury (P=0.0244) and sterilization technique (P<0.0001) were associated with antibiotic use: 4 patients developed an infection; there were successfully treated superficial infections, and 1 was a deep infection requiring a formal debridement. There were 8 patients that had a recorded mal-union, and 6 patients required additional procedures; 1 patient had a postoperative compartment syndrome on postoperation day 1. The infection rates among patients treated with and without antibiotics were 0.60% and 0.40%, respectively. The absence of antibiotics was not clinically inferior to using antibiotics (P=0.003). Infection remains a rare complication following CRPP of SCH fractures. According to our current data, not giving perioperative antibiotics was not inferior to using perioperative antibiotics for preventing superficial or deep infection in patients undergoing CRPP of SCH fractures. With the increase in attention to antibiotic stewardship, it is important to eliminate unnecessary antibiotic use while continuing to maintain a low rate of surgical site infection. Level IV-case series. This is a therapeutic study that investigates the results from a case series. Copyright © 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


    Ainsley K Bloomer, Kelsie M Coe, Aaron M Brandt, Tamar Roomian, Brian Brighton, Brian P Scannell. Hold the Antibiotics: Are Preoperative Antibiotics Unnecessary in the Treatment of Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fractures? Journal of pediatric orthopedics. 2022 May-Jun 01;42(5):e474-e479

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    PMID: 35200212

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