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Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2007 Aug;36(8):433-5.

Risk for infection after anterior cervical fusion: prevention with iodophor-impregnated incision drapes.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Cervical spine infections can have disastrous consequences, but techniques for minimizing infections should be evidence based. In this article, we report the incidence of spine infections in a large cohort of consecutive patients who underwent anterior cervical fusions without iodophor-impregnated incision drapes (3M Ioban; 3M Health Care, St. Paul, Minn) covering the surgical site. We reviewed the records of 581 consecutive patients (294 men, 287 women) who underwent 616 anterior cervical fusions without such drapes over the incision site and who were followed for 1 to 21 years after surgery. Mean age at the time of surgery was 52 years (range, 17-83 years). There was 0% incidence of cervical spinal infections in the group. Need for iodophor-impregnated incision drapes during anterior cervical fusion was not demonstrated. These drapes added unnecessary cost and may decrease skin mobility, making adequate exposure more difficult.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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