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Instructional Review

A standardized interdisciplinary algorithm for the treatment of prosthetic joint infections

outcome in a centralized and specialized department

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In 2013, we introduced a specialized, centralized, and interdisciplinary team in our institution that applied a standardized diagnostic and treatment algorithm for the management of prosthetic joint infections (PJIs). The hypothesis for this study was that the outcome of treatment would be improved using this approach.

Patients and Methods

In a retrospective analysis with a standard postoperative follow-up, 95 patients with a PJI of the hip and knee who were treated with a two-stage exchange between 2013 and 2017 formed the study group. A historical cohort of 86 patients treated between 2009 and 2011 not according to the standardized protocol served as a control group. The success of treatment was defined according to the Delphi criteria in a two-year follow-up.


Patients in the study group had a significantly higher Charlson Comorbidity Index (3.9 vs 3.1; p = 0.009) and rate of previous revisions for infection (52.6% vs 36%; p = 0.025), and tended to be older (69.0 vs 66.2 years; p = 0.075) with a broader polymicrobial spectrum (47.3% vs 33.7%; p = 0.062). The rate of recurrent infection (3.1% vs 10.4%; p = 0.048) and the mean time interval between the two stages of the procedure (66.6 vs 80.7 days; p < 0.001) were reduced significantly in the study group compared with the control group.


We were able to show that the outcome following the treatment of PJIs of the hip and knee is better when managed in a separate department with an interdisciplinary team using a standard algorithm.

Correspondence should be sent to Daniel Karczewski; email:

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