Background: Preoperative antibiotics may not be necessary, given the very low infection rates associated with percutaneous pinning (PP) procedures of the upper extremity (UE). The purpose of this study was to determine the patterns and variation surrounding the use of preoperative antibiotics when performing PP procedures of the child’s UE. Methods: A survey was sent to all members of Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America to assess the use and opinions regarding preoperative antibiotics for PP procedures of the UE. Queries included the surgeon’s current practice and thoughts regarding the need for preoperative antibiotics based on the anatomical location of the procedure. Results: Eight-one percent of the 295 respondents routinely order preoperative antibiotics for all PP procedures of the UE; however, only 60% felt that all patients must receive preoperative antibiotics. The requirement for preoperative antibiotics varied based on the anatomical location—81% for shoulder, 70% for elbow, 66% for wrist, and 62% for hand/finger. Canadian surgeons were significantly less likely to believe that preoperative antibiotics must be used in all UE cases, all shoulder cases, and all elbow cases (all Ps =.04). Conclusion: The vast majority (81%) of surgeons surveyed routinely prescribe antibiotics for PP procedures of the UE despite the fact that 40% of surgeons felt that antibiotics were not necessary for all procedures. As the PP procedure is performed more distally on the UE, fewer surgeons feel preoperative antibiotics are necessary. Future studies assessing infection rates with and without the use of preoperative antibiotics are necessary to determine the true need for these medications.
- percutaneous pinning
- preoperative antibiotics
- upper extremity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine