Study finds, Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair without antibi
Rotator cuff repair is a commonly performed shoulder procedure. In the past 20 years, there has been a shift from mini-open towards arthroscopic repair, and many units exclusively use arthroscopic techniques for rotator cuff surgery. The aim of this study was to find out whether withholding antibiotics had any effect on the infection rate in patients undergoing arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.

A retrospective analysis of 336 consecutive patients with an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair (RCR) and a minimum 2-year follow-up was performed. The control group received prophylactic antibiotics (controls) and the cases of interest did not receive perioperative antibiotics. A power analysis was performed according to literature regarding infection proportions. The primary outcome was an infection (superficial or deep) in the operated shoulder.

--There were 336 patients who underwent a RCR. 212 in the control group and 124 in the non-antibiotic group.

--Average ages were 57.3±12.5 and 56.8±13.2 years in each group, respectively. The follow-up times ranged from 24 to 76 months.

--Equipment used and surgical techniques were identical, only operating times were statistically different between the groups (control 77.2±41.3 min versus no antibiotic cases 52.9±16.7 min). There was no recorded infection in either group.

In the end, arthroscopic surgery infections are rare. The risk is minimized by the combination of small incisions, continuous washing with saline, low hardware insertion and short operating hours. Consequently, in the case of persons who have this treatment, the wise use of prophylactic antibiotics is urged to prevent potential injury.