More than half of patients hospitalized for a surgical-site infection within a year after knee- or hip-replacement surgery wound up being admitted again in the following year, according to a new study (PDF) from researchers at Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University in Detroit.
Study results were released Monday by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology during the group's annual conference, taking place through Wednesday in San Antonio.
The DMC/Wayne State researchers analyzed data for 174,425 patients—all covered by employer-based health plans—who had a knee or hip replaced in 2007. In the year after their surgeries, 1.2% of the patients were hospitalized for a surgical-site infection. Among them, 12.5% were rehospitalized by the end of 2009 for issues related to the infection, and 40.8% were readmitted for other causes, the researchers found.