Incidence and predictors of positive intraoperative cultures in primary shoulder arthroplasty following prior ipsilateral shoulder surgery

Stephen Gates, Ivy Nguyen, Michael Del Core, Paul A. Nakonezny, Hallie Bradley, Michael Khazzam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: To our knowledge, the rate of positive intraoperative cultures in patients undergoing primary shoulder arthroplasty with prior ipsilateral nonarthroplasty shoulder surgery is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence and predictors of positive cultures in these patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients with prior ipsilateral shoulder surgery with intraoperative cultures taken at the time of primary shoulder arthroplasty. We evaluated culture results, demographics, and number of prior surgeries. Regression analysis was used to determine patient-related risk factors that predict positive cultures. Results: A total of 682 patients underwent primary shoulder arthroplasty, 83 had at least 1 prior ipsilateral shoulder surgery: 65.1% male, mean age 64.2 ± 10.9 years. For the cohort of 83 patients, an average of 3.2 ± 1.2 tissue samples were obtained for each patient, with a mean of 0.84 ± 1.14 tissue cultures being positive (range 0-5). Thirty-seven of the 83 patients (44.5%) had at least 1 positive culture, with Cutibacterium acnes the most frequent organism (31/37; 83.4%). An average of 1.9 ± 0.96 tissue cultures resulted positive (range 1-5) for the 37 patients who had positive cultures, 40.5% (15/37) had only 1 positive tissue culture (12/15 C acnes, 2/15 Staphylococcus epidermidis, and 1/15 vancomycin-resistant enterococcus). Male sex and history of prior shoulder infection were predictive of culture positivity (odds ratios: 2.5 and 20.9, respectively). Age, race, medical comorbidities, number of prior shoulder surgeries, and time from index shoulder surgery were not predictive of culture positivity. Conclusion: About 45% of patients with no clinical signs of infection and a history of prior ipsilateral shoulder surgery undergoing primary shoulder arthroplasty grew positive intraoperative cultures. The significance of these findings remains unclear with regard to risk of periprosthetic infection and how these patients should be managed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-371
Number of pages6
JournalJSES International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Cross Sectional Design
  • Cutibacterium acnes
  • Epidemiology Study
  • Level III
  • Shoulder arthroplasty
  • infection
  • periprosthetic shoulder infection
  • prevention
  • tissue culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


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