Periprosthetic Infections after Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty – A Review

Goran Vrgoč, Mladen Japjec, Gordan Gulan, Jagoda Ravlić-Gulan, Marin Marinović, Ante Bandalović


Periprosthetic joint infections (PJI) in orthopedic surgery are considered to be very serious and dangerous complications of total joint arthroplasty. PJI becomes a long-lasting medical problem and a heavy burden on patient and his family. Patients with such a complication are a significant financial burden for the health care system. Recognizing this issue, investing in scientific research and simultaneously developing technologies in medicine are efforts taken to increase successfulness in preventing and treating PJI. Each year the number of total joint arthroplasties increases which entails a rise in the number of complications among which infections are the leading ones. Sometimes, in the worst case scenarios, infections can endanger patients’ lives. New procedural algorithms and new diagnostic possibilities help us make accurate and early diagnoses of postoperative PJI with a great degree of certainty. These diagnostic methods include laboratory tests, imaging, histopathology and microbiological analyses. Treatment options depend on many factors which include the onset of symptoms, patients’ general physical condition and type of pathogen. The approach to treating PJI is complex and it requires a multidisciplinary approach in order to ensure the most successful treatment possible. For adequate and successful treatment we need to take into account antibiotic therapy, one-stage or two-stage revision, Girdlestone operation, athrodesis and amputation. In this review we will try to sum up all relevant findings and suggest further steps in management of PJI.


periprosthetic joint infection, total knee arthroplasty, total hip arthroplasty, treatment, antibiotics

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