Infection after shoulder instability surgery

John W. Sperling, Robert H. Cofield, Michael E. Torchia, Arlen D. Hanssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Currently, there are no reported series on the outcome of patients treated for infection after shoulder instability surgery. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to review patients who were treated for infection after shoulder instability surgery at our institution between 1980 and 2001 to determine the functional outcome and organisms responsible for infection. During this period, six patients were treated for infection after shoulder instability surgery. Three patients had an early postoperative infection, presenting 6 weeks or less from the time of instability surgery. Three patients had a late infection, presenting 8 months or greater from the time of surgery. Each of the three patients with a late infection had a sinus leading to a retained nonabsorbable suture. None of the six patients have had recurrent shoulder instability. Three patients had a polymicrobial infection and three patients had single organisms. Infection may be acute or significantly delayed from the time of the instability procedure. Additionally, among patients with late infection, there should be a high degree of suspicion for a nidus of infection surrounding nonabsorbable sutures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-64
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number414
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery

Cite this

Sperling, J. W., Cofield, R. H., Torchia, M. E., & Hanssen, A. D. (2003). Infection after shoulder instability surgery. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, (414), 61-64.