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Outcomes of single- and two-stage revision total knee arthroplasty for chronic periprosthetic joint infection

long-term outcomes of changing clinical practice in a specialist centre

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Single-stage revision total knee arthroplasty (rTKA) is gaining popularity in treating chronic periprosthetic joint infections (PJIs). We have introduced this approach to our clinical practice and sought to evaluate rates of reinfection and re-revision, along with predictors of failure of both single- and two-stage rTKA for chronic PJI.


A retrospective comparative cohort study of all rTKAs for chronic PJI between 1 April 2003 and 31 December 2018 was undertaken using prospective databases. Patients with acute infections were excluded; rTKAs were classified as single-stage, stage 1, or stage 2 of two-stage revision. The primary outcome measure was failure to eradicate or recurrent infection. Variables evaluated for failure by regression analysis included age, BMI, American Society of Anesthesiologists grade, infecting organisms, and the presence of a sinus. Patient survivorship was also compared between the groups.


A total of 292 consecutive first-time rTKAs for chronic PJI were included: 82 single-stage (28.1%); and 210 two-stage (71.9%) revisions. The mean age was 71 years (27 to 90), with 165 females (57.4%), and a mean BMI of 30.9 kg/m2 (20 to 53). Significantly more patients with a known infecting organism were in the single-stage group (93.9% vs 80.47%; p = 0.004). The infecting organism was identified preoperatively in 246 cases (84.2%). At a mean follow-up of 6.3 years (2.0 to 17.6), the failure rate was 6.1% in the single-stage, and 12% in the two-stage groups. All failures occurred within four years of treatment. The presence of a sinus was an independent risk factor for failure (odds ratio (OR) 4.97; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.593 to 15.505; p = 0.006), as well as age > 80 years (OR 5.962; 95% CI 1.156 to 30.73; p = 0.033). The ten-year patient survivorship rate was 72% in the single-stage group compared with 70.5% in the two-stage group. This difference was not significant (p = 0.517).


Single-stage rTKA is an effective strategy with a high success rate comparable to two-stage approach in appropriately selected patients.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(8):1373–1379.

Correspondence should be sent to Hosam E. Matar. E-mail:

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