Use of silver nylon dressing following TJR decreases infection rate — 7 study findings

Researchers discovered the use of a silver-nylon antimicrobial dressing significantly lowers the rate of postoperative prosthetic joint infections compared to standard dressings.

Here are seven findings from the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon Global Research & Review.

1. Researchers from Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program's orthopaedic surgery department in Boston conducted an independent, case-controlled study of 834 total joint replacement procedures.

2. The study compared the incidence of superficial and deep prosthetic joint infections in 309 patients who received a silver nylon dressing (Silverlon) with the incidence among 525 patients who received a standard dressing (Xeroform and gauze).

3. All surgeries were performed by the same two surgeons. Researchers followed patients in the Silverlon group for 12 months to identify prosthetic joint infections and gathered infection data for the control group based on chart review.

4. The use of Silverlon antimicrobial dressings reduced the rate of both superficial and deep PJIs compared to standard dressings.

The incidence of infection was 3.9 percent in the Silverlon study group and 8.4 percent in the control group, representing a 54 percent reduction in the rate of infection with Silverlon use.

5. While no deep PJIs occurred in the Silverlon study group, they were observed in 2.3 percent of patients in the control group.

6. Patients in the Silverlon group had significantly lower chances of any infection compared with the control group. There were no reported adverse reactions to the silver dressing.

7. A common cause of TJR surgery failure, PJIs can lead to prolonged antibiotic use, repeat surgical procedures and extended hospital readmissions. The economic impact of PJI in the U.S. is expected to reach $1.62 billion in 2020.

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