Does Intermittent Catheterization Compared to Indwelling Catheterization Decrease the Risk of Periprosthetic Joint Infection Following Total Knee Arthroplasty?

Catheterization for the prophylaxis against or treatment for urinary retention commonly occurs after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Recent studies have questioned the use of the indwelling catheterization, especially in its potential role as a nidus for infection. We are still unsure of its downstream effects on periprosthetic joint infections (PJIs). Therefore, this study aimed to compare the risks of postoperative PJI following intermittent vs indwelling catheterization after TKA.

Between 2017 and 2019, 15 hospitals in a large health system collected data on patients undergoing TKA. Patient treatments with indwelling catheter only, intermittent straight catheter only, and both indwelling and intermittent straight catheterizations were recorded. Patient demographics, comorbidities, body mass indices, and PJIs were collected from time of surgery to time of data collection at mean 14 months of follow-up. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed with independent t-tests and multiple linear regression models to compare catheterization treatment types.

A total of 9123 TKAs were performed, with patients receiving indwelling catheter only (62%, n = 734), intermittent straight catheter only (25%, n = 299), or both indwelling and intermittent catheterizations (13%, n = 160). Univariate analyses showed that PJIs occurred in 1.1% of no-catheter patients and 2.3% of patients treated with bladder catheterization (P = .002). Using multivariate analyses, indwelling catheter use (odds ratio [OR] 2.647, P < .001), diabetes (OR 1.837, P = .005), and peripheral vascular disease (OR 2.372, P = .046) were found to have a statistically significant increased risk for PJIs. The use of intermittent straight catheterization (OR 1.249, P = .668) or both indwelling and intermittent (OR 1.171, P = .828) did not increase the risk for PJIs.

Urinary bladder catheterization is commonly required for prophylaxis against or treatment for urinary retention following TKA. The use of a urinary catheter can provide a potential nidus for infection in these patients. This study found that indwelling catheterization, but not intermittent catheterization, was associated with an increased risk for PJI. Surgeons should therefore limit the duration of catheterization in an effort to decrease the risk for PJI.

The Journal of arthroplasty. 2020 Feb 28 [Epub]

Luke J Garbarino, Peter A Gold, Hiba K Anis, Nipun Sodhi, Jonathan R Danoff, Sreevathsa Boraiah, Vijay J Rasquinha, Michael A Mont

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Northwell Health, New York, NY., Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

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