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One-stage revision is as effective as two-stage revision for chronic culture-negative periprosthetic joint infection after total hip and knee arthroplasty

a retrospective cohort study

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Removal of infected components and culture-directed antibiotics are important for the successful treatment of chronic periprosthetic joint infection (PJI). However, as many as 27% of chronic PJI patients yield negative culture results. Although culture negativity has been thought of as a contraindication to one-stage revision, data supporting this assertion are limited. The aim of our study was to report on the clinical outcomes for one-stage and two-stage exchange arthroplasty performed in patients with chronic culture-negative PJI.


A total of 105 consecutive patients who underwent revision arthroplasty for chronic culture-negative PJI were retrospectively evaluated. One-stage revision arthroplasty was performed in 30 patients, while 75 patients underwent two-stage exchange, with a minimum of one year's follow-up. Reinfection, re-revision for septic and aseptic reasons, amputation, readmission, mortality, and length of stay were compared between the two treatment strategies.


The patient demographic characteristics did not differ significantly between the groups. At a mean follow-up of 4.2 years, the treatment failure for reinfection for one-stage and two-stage revision was five (16.7%) and 15 patients (20.0%) (p = 0.691), and for septic re-revision was four (13.3%) and 11 patients (14.7%) (p = 0.863), respectively. No significant differences were observed between one-stage and two-stage revision for 30- 60- and 90-day readmissions (10.0% vs 8.0%; p = 0.714; 16.7% vs 9.3%; p = 0.325; and 26.7% vs 10.7%; p = 0.074), one-year mortality (3.3% vs 4.0%; p > 0.999), and amputation (3.3% vs 1.3%; p = 0.496).


In this non-randomized study, one-stage revision arthroplasty demonstrated similar outcomes including reinfection, re-revision, and readmission rates for the treatment of chronic culture-negative PJI after TKA and THA compared to two-stage revision. This suggests culture negativity may not be a contraindication to one-stage revision arthroplasty for chronic culture-negative PJI in selected patients.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(3):515–521.

Correspondence should be sent to Young-Min Kwon. E-mail:

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