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General Orthopaedics


Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) – Spring 2015


Deep periprosthetic infection after hip or knee arthroplasty is a disconcerting problem for patient and surgeon alike. The diagnosis of infection is sometimes obvious but frequently requires that the surgeon maintain a substantial index of suspicion for infection as the cause of pain or poor outcome after any joint arthroplasty. While surgical debridement with component retention is appropriate in a subgroup of patients with an acute periprosthetic infection most delayed and chronic infections are best treated with component resection. The pre-eminent role of two-stage exchange as the definitive treatment was established over 30 years ago. Two-stage exchange remains the gold-standard in treatment with an established track record from multiple centers and with multiple different types of infecting organisms. Some of the historical problems with two-stage exchange, such as limited mobility during the interval stage, have been mitigated with the development of effective articulating spacer techniques. Further, the emergence of drug resistant bacteria and the possibility of fungal infection make two-stage exchange the best choice for the majority of patients with deep periprosthetic joint infection in 2015.