Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 159, Issue 6, pp 1113–1118

Risk factors for surgical site infections among 1,772 patients operated on for lumbar disc herniation: a multicentre observational registry-based study

  • Samer Habiba
  • Øystein P. Nygaard
  • Jens I. Brox
  • Christian Hellum
  • Ivar M. Austevoll
  • Tore K. Solberg
Original Article - Spine



There are no previous studies evaluating risk factors for surgical site infections (SSIs) and the effectiveness of prophylactic antibiotic treatment (PAT), specifically for patients operated on for lumbar disc herniation.


This observational multicentre study comprises a cohort of 1,772 consecutive patients operated on for lumbar disc herniation without laminectomy or fusion at 23 different surgical units in Norway. The patients were interviewed about SSIs according to a standardised questionnaire at 3 months’ follow-up.


Three months after surgery, 2.3% of the patients had an SSI. Only no PAT (OR = 5.3, 95% CI = 2.2–12.7, p< 0.001) and longer duration of surgery than the mean time (68 min) (OR = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.2–6.6, p = 0.02) were identified as independent risk factors for SSI. Numbers needed to have PAT to avoid one SSI was 43.


In summary, this study clearly lends support to the use of PAT in surgery for lumbar disc herniation. Senior surgeons assisting inexperienced colleagues to avoid prolonged duration of surgery could also reduce the occurrence of SSI.


Degenerative spine Lumbar disc herniation Surgical site infections Antibiotic prophylaxis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samer Habiba
    • 1
  • Øystein P. Nygaard
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jens I. Brox
    • 2
    • 4
  • Christian Hellum
    • 2
    • 4
  • Ivar M. Austevoll
    • 2
    • 5
  • Tore K. Solberg
    • 2
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryHaukeland University HospitalBergenNorway
  2. 2.Norwegian Registry for Spine Surgery (NORspine)Northern Norway Regional Health AuthorityBergenNorway
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgerySt. Olavs Hospital and Institute of Neuroscience Medical Faculty Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  4. 4.Department of OrthopaedicsOslo University Hospital, University of OsloOsloNorway
  5. 5.Department of OrthopaedicsHaukeland University HospitalBergenNorway
  6. 6.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital of North NorwayTromsøNorway
  7. 7.The Department of Clinical MedicineUniversity of Tromsø The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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