, Volume 469, Issue 12, pp 3477-3485
Date: 14 Oct 2011

Treatment of Early Postoperative Infections after THA: A Decision Analysis

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The treatment for an early postoperative periprosthetic infection after cementless THA that results in the highest quality of life after the control of infection is unknown. Although common treatments include irrigation and débridement with component retention, a one-stage exchange, or a two-stage exchange, it is unclear whether any of these provides a higher quality of life after the control of infection.


We projected, through decision-analysis modeling, the possible estimated final health states defined as health-related quality of life based on quality-of-life studies of an early postoperative periprosthetic infection after cementless THA treated by irrigation and débridement, one-stage exchange, or two-stage exchange.


Publications addressing early postoperative infections after THA were analyzed for the estimated rate of infection control and quality-of-life measures after a specific treatment. Decision analysis was used to model the different treatments and describe which, if any, treatment results in the greatest quality of life after early THA infection.


In the model, a one-stage exchange was the treatment for early THA infection that maximized quality-of-life outcomes if the probability of controlling the infection exceeded 66% with this procedure. If the probability of infection control of a one-stage exchange was less than 66% or that of irrigation and débridement was greater than 60%, then irrigation and débridement appeared to result in the greatest quality-of-life outcome.


A decision analysis using estimates of infection control rate and quality-of-life outcomes after different treatments for an early postoperative infection after THA showed possible outcomes for each treatment.

Level of Evidence

Level II, economic and decision analyses. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.
All ICMJE Conflict of Interest Forms for authors and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research editors and board members are on file with the publication and can be viewed on request.
Each author certifies that his or her institution approved the human protocol for this investigation, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained.
This work was performed at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, and the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.