antibiotics in miscellaneous orthopaedic surgery

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There is no requirement for routine aseptic procedures such as arthroscopy and joint aspiration, and short, 'clean' non-implant procedures (1).

High dose antibiotics are often given during any procedure involving the insertion of metalwork.

Spinal surgery, such as disc removal, may set up a deep infection resulting in:

  • acute or chronic back pain
  • nerve root compression
  • scarring
  • arachnoiditis Despite the lack of empirical evidence, the balance of opinion favours antibiotic prophylaxis in spinal surgery.


  • (1) Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (2001), 39 (6), 43-6.

Last reviewed 01/2018