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Surgical site infection (SSI) associated with total knee replacement surgery

Why is this measure important?

Total knee replacement surgery is performed when the patient’s knee joint becomes diseased or damaged to the point that it limits motion and is very painful. It is most often used for patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. During total knee replacement, a surgeon removes damaged bone and cartilage (types of tissue) from the thighbone, shinbone, and kneecap. The surgeon then replaces these parts with an artificial joint made of safe, long-lasting materials.       Sometimes the area of the body where the surgery takes place can become infected. This is called a surgical site infection (SSI). SSIs can involve the skin, tissues under the skin, organs, or implanted material. These infections can cause serious problems and even death.

Hospital staff members can prevent most SSIs after total knee replacement surgery by following the infection control guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hospitals following these safety guidelines will likely have low numbers in this measure.

What does this measure show?

This measure tracks patients who experienced surgical site infection after surgery.

The score for surgical site infections (SSIs) associated with total knee replacement surgery is shown as a Standardized Infection Ratio (SIR). This ratio is found by comparing the number of SSIs associated with total knee replacement surgery at Northwestern Memorial to a national benchmark.

For this measure, a lower number is better.