Urinary bladder catheters are potential sources of infection after total hip arthroplasty (THA). Therefore, the goal of this study was to determine if intermittent catheterization provides a decreased risk of postoperative urinary tract infections (UTIs) compared with indwelling catheterization in THA patients.
Patients undergoing THA at 15 hospitals within a large health system were prospectively collected between 2017 and 2019 and then stratified based on catheterization technique: no-catheter; indwelling catheter-only; intermittent catheter-only; and both intermittent and indwelling catheter. Patient demographics, medical comorbidities, anesthesia types, and postoperative UTIs were assessed. Independent Student t-tests were used to perform univariate analyses for the catheterization groups. Multiple linear regression models were used to compare the different groups while controlling for confounding variables.
There were a total of 7306 THA patients recorded with 5513 (75%) no-catheter, 1181 (16%) indwelling catheter-only, 285 (3.9%) intermittent catheter-only, and 327 (4.5%) indwelling and intermittent catheterization patients. A total of 580 patients experienced postoperative UTI. Urinary bladder catheterization increased the risk of postoperative UTIs (P < .001) in univariate analyses. Multiple linear regression models showed that indwelling catheter-only (OR: 2.178, P < .001), intermittent catheterization (OR: 1.975, P = .003), and both indwelling and intermittent (OR: 2.372, P = .002) were more likely to experience UTIs compared with no catheters.
This study found that patients treated with indwelling catheterization, with or without preceding intermittent catheterization, were significantly more likely to experience UTIs. Therefore, in an effort to decrease the risk of UTIs, THA patients experiencing postoperative urinary retention should be treated with intermittent catheterization.