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General Orthopaedics


The European Bone and Joint Infection Society (EBJIS), Ljubljana, Slovenia, 7–9 October 2021.



This study assesses the ability of the JS-BACH classification of bone infection to predict clinical and patient-reported outcomes in prosthetic joint infection (PJI).


Patients who received surgery for suspected PJI at two specialist bone infection centres within the UK between 2010 and 2015 were classified using the JS-BACH classification into either ‘uncomplicated’, ‘complex’ or ‘limited options’. All patients were classified by two clinicians blinded to outcome, with any discrepancies adjudicated by a third reviewer. At the most recent follow-up, patients were assessed for (i) any episode of recurrence since the index operation and (ii) the status of the joint. A Cox proportional-hazard model assessed significant predictors of recurrence following the index procedure. Patient-reported outcomes included the EuroQol EQ-5D-3L index score and the EQ-visual analogue score (VAS) at 0, 14, 42, 120 and 365 days following the index operation.


220 patients met the inclusion criteria during the study period which included PJI of the knee (n=111), hip (n=102), shoulder (n=4) and elbow (n=3). The median time to final follow-up was 4.7 years (inter-quartile range 2.7 – 6.7 years). Controlling for type of index procedure and site of infection, Cox proportional-hazards ratio of recurrence when being classified as complex versus uncomplicated was 25.2 (95% CI 3.45 – 183.7, p<0.001) and having limited options verses uncomplicated was 59.0 (95% CI 7.93 – 439.1, p<0.001). None of the patients who were classified as ‘uncomplicated’ PJI (0/52) had received either amputation, joint fusion, excision arthroplasty, chronic suppressive anti-biotics, had died from sepsis secondary to PJI or were awaiting treatment for an active infection at final follow-up. This compared to 21.3% (27/127) of patients classified as ‘complex’ PJI and 65.9% (27/41) of patients classified as ‘limited options’. Compared to the age-matched population, patients with ‘uncomplicated’ PJI reported similar EQ-index scores (age-matched population: 0.782, ‘uncomplicated’: 0.730, SD 0.326) and EQ-VAS (age-matched: 77.9, ‘uncomplicated’ PJI: 79.4, SD 20.9). This was significantly higher when compared to patients classified as ‘complex’ (EQ-index: 0.515 SD 0.323, p<0.012; EQ-VAS: 68.4 SD 19.4, p=0.042) and ‘limited options’ (EQ-index: 0.333 SD 0.383, p<0.001; EQ-VAS: 60.2, SD 23.1, p=0.005, ANOVA with Tukey post-hoc comparison).


We have demonstrated that the JS-BACH classification for bone and joint infection is a significant predictor of clinical outcome and quality of life following surgery for PJI. This will allow clinicians to offer prognostic information to patients and guide the timing of referral for specialist management in PJI.