Operate or Not on Gunshot Wounds to Joints?

The needle has swung on these injuries

What’s the Claim?

A case series of patients with traumatic arthrotomies from civilian gunshot wounds found that patients experiencing ballistic arthrotomies who were treated with local wound care and systemic antibiotics were no more likely to develop infections than were patients treated with formal I&D in the operating room or those who had I&D and ORIF of an associated fracture. In fact, the only infections observed were in the group that had I&D + ORIF, and the infections did not manifest as septic arthritis but rather were in association with the fracture hardware.

How’s It Stack Up?