Cindy Mallet, Victor Meissburger, Marion Caseris, Adèle Happiette, Jason Chinnappa, Stéphane Bonacorsi, Anne-Laure Simon, Brice Ilharreborde

August 2022, pp 1 - 9 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-022-07340-6

First Online: 01 August 2022


Surgical site infection (SSI) is a major complication after adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) surgery, with an incidence ranging from 0.5 to 7%. Intraoperative wound decontamination with povidone-iodine (PVP-I) irrigation and/or vancomycin powder in adult spinal surgery has gained attention in the literature with controversial results. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of using intrawound PVP-I irrigation and local vancomycin powder (LVP) on the incidence of early SSI in AIS surgery.


All AIS patients who underwent posterior spinal fusion between October 2016 and December 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. The incidence of early SSI was reported and compared between 2 groups defined by the treating spinal surgeons’ preferences: group 1—intrawound irrigation with 2L of PVP-I and application of 3 g LVP before closure and control group 2—patients that did not receive either of these measures.


Nine early cases of SSI (2.9%) were reported among the 307 AIS posterior spinal fusion patients. Incidence of SSI in group 1 (2/178 = 1.1%) was significantly lower than in group 2 (7/129 = 5.4%; p = 0.04). There were no adverse reactions to the use of PVP-I and LVP in our study. At latest follow-up, rate of surgical revision for mechanical failure with pseudarthrosis was significantly lower in group 1 (2/178 = 1.1%) than in group 2 (9/129 = 7.0%; p = 0.01).


Intraoperative use of intrawound PVP-I irrigation and vancomycin powder is associated with a significant reduction of early SSI after AIS spine surgery.

Level of evidence IV

Retrospective study.

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