P Acnes in arthritic shoulders presented in Brisbane at AOA

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Propionibacterium acnes

P Acnes in arthritic shoulders presented in Brisbane at AOA

Contamination of the surgical field with propionibacterium acnes in shoulder arthroplasty
presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian Orthopaedic Association in Brisbane by Dr Matthew Donaldson on behalf of SSRI

A popular topic over the past year or two is the role propionibacterium acnes (“P Acnes”) plays in shoulder infections and arthritis. A 2014 study by Levy et al reported an astonishing 42% of patients with arthritis undergoing shoulder replacement had P Acnes in the glenohumeral joint, proposing it to be the cause of or contributing factor to development of the disease.

We weren’t so sure and wondered if contamination played a role. We hypothesised that use of strict surgical preparation and specimen collection techniques would in fact challenge this 42% prevalence? We found that indeed, it did.

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