Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 471, Issue 10, pp 3135–3140 | Cite as

What is the Rate of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative Infections in Open Fractures?

  • Antonia F. Chen
  • Verena M. Schreiber
  • Wesley Washington
  • Nalini Rao
  • Andrew R. EvansEmail author
Symposium: 2012 Musculoskeletal Infection Society



There have been increasing reports of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in the community, but it is unclear whether infectious organisms in open fracture infections have changed and if our current regimen of antibiotic prophylaxis is therefore obsolete.


We determined the recent incidence of MRSA and Gram-negative organism infections after open fractures.


We performed a retrospective cohort study on 189 patients with 202 open fractures treated from 2009 to 2010. During the followup, patients were evaluated for signs of infection using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. We determined the organisms using routine microbiology culture. The minimum followup was 3 months (median, 47 months; range, 3–108 months).


Of the 202 open fractures, 20 (10%) developed infections. The most common organism was Staphylococcus, whereas five (25%) of those infected were positive for MRSA, and 11 (55%) of those with infection were cultured for at least one Gram-negative organism. Six (30%) open fractures had infections that grew out multiple organisms. The incidence of MRSA infections in our open fracture population was 2.5%.


There is a high incidence of MRSA and Gram-negative infections after open fractures, which may indicate that current antibiotic regimens need to be changed.

Level of Evidence

Level IV, retrospective case-series. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


Open Fracture Ceftaroline Type IIIB Ceftaroline Fosamil Type IIIC 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Dana Farrell for her help with obtaining institutional review board and CARe approval.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonia F. Chen
    • 1
  • Verena M. Schreiber
    • 1
  • Wesley Washington
    • 1
  • Nalini Rao
    • 2
  • Andrew R. Evans
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious DiseaseUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA

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