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Surgical site infection is the most common healthcare-associated infection. Surgical site infection after surgery for hand trauma is associated with increased antibiotic prescribing, re-operation, hospital readmission and delayed rehabilitation, and in severe cases may lead to amputation. As the risk of surgical site infection after surgery for hand trauma remains unclear, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of all primary studies of hand trauma surgery, including randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case-control studies and case series. A total of 8836 abstracts were screened, and 201 full studies with 315,618 patients included. The meta-analysis showed a 10% risk of surgical site infection in randomized control trials, with an overall risk of 5% when all studies were included. These summary statistics can be used clinically for informed consent and shared decision making, and for power calculations for future clinical trials of antimicrobial interventions in hand trauma.

Original publication




Journal article


J Hand Surg Eur Vol

Publication Date



Hand surgery, infection, systematic review, trauma