Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a major risk factor for surgical site infection (SSI). Spinal surgeries are also associated with an increased risk of SSI. To confirm previous reports we evaluated the association of DM with spine infection in 195 patients who underwent elective posterior instrumented lumbar arthrodesis over a 5-year period: 30 with DM and 165 without. Other known risk factors for SSI in spinal surgery were examined: age, gender, tobacco use, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) class, intraoperative antibiotic redosing, surgical time, bone allograft use, estimated blood loss (EBL), and drain use. The adjusted relative risk of having DM for developing SSI was 4.10 (95% C.I. = 1.37-12.32). Other factors did not appear as risk factors for SSI. The data confirm DM is a risk factor for surgical site infections in spinal arthrodesis surgery.
Level of evidence: Level II, prognostic study (retrospective study).