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Prosthetic joint infections (PJI)

Prosthetic joint infections (PJI) of the hip and knee are uncommon, but result in significant morbidity and mortality when they do occur. Current management consists of a combination of either single- or two-stage exchange of the prosthesis and/or exchange of polymer components with intravenous (IV) antibiotics (4–6 weeks) and intraoperative debridement of the joint prior to reimplantation.

However, failure rate, morbidity, and expense associated with current management are high, especially if the infection involves resistant pathogens and/or osteomyelitis. Also, the current use of systemic antibiotics does not allow for high local concentrations of the drug and biofilm penetration of the infected prosthesis.

To overcome these difficulties, we examined the outcomes of aggressive operative debridement of the infected prosthesis. This was achieved through the use of a single-stage revision and administration of high concentrations of local intra-articular antibiotics via Hickman catheters.

We present 57 patients with PJI who were treated with intra-articular antibiotics and single-stage revisions. Minimal systemic toxicity was observed along with a 100% microbiologic cure rate and 89% without relapse at 11-month follow-up despite isolation of multidrug resistant pathogens. This is the largest study to date using this method in the treatment of PJI.

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