Clinical Science| Volume 207, ISSUE 6, P907-914, June 2014

Pilonidal disease in a military population: how far have we really come?

Published:November 18, 2013DOI:



      Pilonidal disease (PD) has a long connection with military personnel, even nicknamed “jeep disease” during World War II. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with recurrence and complications after surgery in a military population.


      A retrospective cohort analysis of operative therapy for PD at a single institution from 2005 to 2011 was conducted. Patient demographics, disease characteristics, and surgical methods were assessed for the primary outcomes of recurrence and morbidity.


      A total of 151 patients with PD were identified, who underwent excision (45.7%), excision with primary closure (29.8%), and incision and drainage (9.9%). Overall recurrence and morbidity rates were 27.2% and 34.4%, respectively. Black race, chronic disease, wound infection, and infection and drainage were associated with recurrence (P < .05), and excision with primary closure was associated with increased complications (P < .001).


      PD remains a significant source of morbidity and recurrence among military personnel. Certain patient-related and disease-related factors portend a worse prognosis, with black race and operative method the strongest predictors of outcomes.


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