Coracoid transfer procedures are highly effective at improving glenohumeral stability in patients with recurrent shoulder instability. During the procedure, the coracoid, along with the conjoint tendon, are shifted onto the anteroinferior aspect of the glenoid in order to reconstitute the static and dynamic restraints of the glenohumeral joint. Although the procedure is effective at improving glenohumeral stability, complications do sometimes occur in a small minority of patients.
Infection after shoulder surgery can be a devastating complication that often requires both a vigorous debridement in the operating room (OR) as well as several weeks of intravenous antibiotics. Fortunately, the incidence of infection after shoulder surgery is relatively low.
Most cases of infection following shoulder surgery are caused by the bacterial species Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus. Infections with these agents typically present acutely (less than 3 months after surgery). Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a gram-positive, anaerobic bacillus found natively on cutaneous surfaces that traditionally is nonpathogenic but has recently been implicated as a rare cause of orthopedic infections.
Shoulder infections with P. acnes are generally reported to be chronic, indolent infections, usually manifesting as persistent pain or in a very delayed fashion, often years after the index surgery. Here, we present the first reported case in the literature of an acute infection with P. acnes following a Latarjet glenohumeral reconstruction.