Toxic shock syndrome as a complication of orthopaedic surgery

James Grimes, Clyde Carpenter, Kent Reinker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) was initially described by Todd et al. in 1978. TSS as a complication of orthopaedic surgery was reported in 1984. There have been previously a total of nine cases of TSS reported in orthopaedic patients. These patients presented at an average of 13 days postoperatively compared to 2 days for general surgical patients. Patients with external fixators, however, presented an average of 25 days postoperatively. Menstrual TSS and nonmenstrual TSS present similarly; however, the fatality rate is reported as 10 and 50%, respectively. There was a 27% case fatality rate in orthopaedic patients. Because TSS is not a septicemia but a toxemia, the treatment depends on aggressive hemodynamic stabilization rather than antibiotic therapy. The classical presentation of TSS is not often seen in patients with TSS complicating orthopaedic surgery. Wounds rarely have any signs of infection. This presentation may be even more difficult to identify due to the occasionally long latency period between surgery and the development of TSS. It appears that external fixators may be left in place if there are no signs of infection. This requires further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)666-671
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • External fixators
  • Orthopaedic infections
  • Toxic shock syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Toxic shock syndrome as a complication of orthopaedic surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this