Steroid Treatment Too Close to Hip Surgery Can Up Infection Risk

HealthDay News — Patients who’ve received a steroid injection for hip pain should wait at least 3 months before having hip replacement surgery, according to research presented Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, held from March 1 to 5 in Orlando, Florida.

The researchers analyzed the records of 177 000 patients who underwent hip replacement surgery for osteoarthritis between 2005 and 2012. After identifying those who received steroid injections before surgery, the researchers divided the patients into one of 4 groups: those who did not receive a steroid injection; those who had hip replacement surgery 6 to 12 months after a steroid injection; those who had surgery 3 to 6 months after receiving the injection; and those who had surgery within 3 months of an injection.

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The infection rate was 2.06% among the patients who never received a steroid injection, but rose to 2.81% for those who had surgery within 3 months of an injection. That represents a 40% higher risk for infection. Patients who had a steroid injection 3 to 12 months before surgery were at no greater risk for surgical site infection.

“The risk of developing an infection after surgery increased significantly in patients who had a hip replacement within three months of receiving a steroid injection,” study author William Schairer, MD, from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, said in a hospital news release. “However, in patients who had a steroid injection and then waited 3 months or longer to have the surgery, there was no increased risk at all.”


Schairer WW, Nwachukwu BU, Lyman S, Mayman D, Jerabek SA. Abstract #916. SPreoperative Hip Injections Increase the Rate of Periprosthetic Infection After Total Hip Arthroplasty. Presented at: AAOS 2016 Annual Meeting. March 1-5, 2016; Orlando, Florida.