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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research
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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Does Previous Intra-Articular Steroid Injection Increase the Risk of Joint Infection Following Total Hip Arthroplasty or Total Knee Arthroplasty? A Meta-Analysis

Qianqian Wang, Xu Jiang, Wei Tian

(Department of Epidemiology, Beijing Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedics, Beijing, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:1878-1883

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.890750


Background: Joint infection might be one of the rare but serious complications following a total knee or hip arthroplasty (TKA, THA). A previous intra-articular steroid injection was considered as a risk factor. The purpose of present study was to access the effects of ipsilateral intra-articular steroid injection followed by TKA or THA on the incidence of infections later.
Material and Methods: Clinical studies reporting infection in THA or TKA after previous injection of intra-articular steroid were identified from the online database of PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and additional manual searches until July 2013. The pooled effects were measured by risk difference (RD), together with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: A total of 11 related studies met our inclusion criteria. The final meta-analysis investigated 6 clinical studies designed as retrospectively created cohort studies with control groups, involving 1474 participants reporting 14 deep infections and 72 superficial infections. Compared with the control group, there was no significantly increased rate of infection among the participant with steroid injection prior to THA or TKA, with corresponding RD (95% CIs) of 0.01 (–0.01, 0.02) for deep infection, 0.01 (–0.02, 0.03) for superficial infection, and 0.02 (–0.02, 0.07) for total infection. The data from 3 prospective studies without control groups and 2 case-control studies were consistent with the results of our meta-analysis.
Conclusions: No increased risk of infection among patients who received steroid injections prior to the surgery was identified from the present evidence. A multicenter prospective study with more defined variables is needed further investigate this issue.

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