Antimicrobial prophylaxis (AMP) reduces the rate of surgical site infection (SSI) in lumbar spine surgery, but a great deal of variation exists regarding the timing and duration of AMP. The authors had previously used prophylactic antibiotics for 5 to 7 postoperative days. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline, the AMP period was changed to the day of surgery only. In the current study, the authors compared the rate of SSI in lumbar spine surgeries between two different protocols of AMP.
Data from 1597 consecutive uninfected patients who had undergone lumbar spine surgery between January 1999 and September 2004 were reviewed. The pathophysiologies among these patients included disc herniation in 686, degenerative spondylolisthesis in 340, spinal stenosis in 259, failed lumbar surgeries in 73, degenerative scoliosis in 52, isthmic spondylolisthesis in 48, spinal trauma in 34, foraminal stenosis in 27, spinal tumor in 27, and miscellaneous in 51 patients. The rate of SSI was compared between the two AMP groups.
There were 1133 patients in the multiple-dose group, and 464 patients in the single-dose group. The rate of instrumentation surgery was not statistically different between the multiple-dose group (43%) and the single-dose group (39%). The overall rate of SSI was 0.7%. The SSI rate was 0.8% in the multiple-dose group and 0.4% in the single-dose group; the difference between the two was not significant. Regarding the organisms of SSI, resistant strains of bacteria were cultured in five (83.3%) of six patients in the multiple-dose group, whereas none was cultured in the single-dose group.
Data in the current study did not demonstrate a difference in the rate of SSI between the two different AMP protocols. Based on the CDC guideline, a single dose of AMP was proven to be efficacious for the prevention of SSI in lumbar spine surgeries. A shorter duration of first-generation cephalosporin use may effectively prevent the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection.