The number and range of orthopaedic procedures performed in the UK has increased over recent decades, with many more devices now being implanted to replace diseased joints, stabilise bone or correct skeletal deformities. With these advances, the number, type and complexity of potential surgical site infections have increased. Postoperative orthopaedic infections can impair the functional result of surgery, prolong hospital admission, harm patients and sometimes prove fatal.1,2 They require vigorous treatment with antibiotics and often necessitate further surgery. Here, we discuss measures for preventing surgical site infection after orthopaedic surgery, concentrating on major joint replacement and surgery for long bone fractures.
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