Infection in joint replacement is a major problem. The infection rate varies widely among surgeons, hospitals and types of major surgeries. The national deep infection rate for joint replacement is 1-2%. Numerous factors affect this rate. Revision surgeries carry a higher rate of infection. Transfusion increases the infection rate. Patient factors such as obesity, diabetes, smoking and various immune suppression conditions or medications increase the rate of infection. Long hospital stays and rehab facility stays increase risk.
The factors influencing the rate of infection are really too numerous to elaborate on here. You can check databases to get estimates of infection rates at various hospitals, but you cannot discover the infection rate of individual surgeons. Generally smaller hospitals with less severely ill patients and outpatient surgery centers have fewer resistant bacteria floating around.
If common minor wound problems are not managed correctly deep infection can result. Once a deep infection occurs, often implant removal is required to cure it.
I would argue that an individual surgeons infection rate is much more important to know than the rate in a given hospital. But most surgeons don’t even keep such data, much less publish it. Over many years we have developed a detailed protocol to prevent infection. As a result, my infection rate published in peer-reviewed journals is 0.2% for primary hip resurfacing. Further more, we have managed to cure these infections without a single loss of implant in over the last 7 years.