Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 24, Issue 10, pp 3168–3174 | Cite as

Antibiotic-loaded bone cement reduces risk of infections in primary total knee arthroplasty? A systematic review

  • A. Schiavone Panni
  • K. CoronaEmail author
  • M. Giulianelli
  • G. Mazzitelli
  • C. Del Regno
  • M. Vasso



Antibiotic-loaded bone cement has been widely used for the treatment of infected knee replacement, but its routine use in primary TKA remains controversial. The aim of this systematic review was to analyze the literature about the antimicrobial efficacy and safety of antibiotic-loaded bone cement for its prophylactic use in primary TKA.


A detailed and systematic search of the Pubmed, Medline, Cochrane Reviews and Google Scholar databases had been performed using the keyword “total knee arthroplasty” “total knee replacement” “total knee prosthesis” and “antibiotic-loaded bone cement” with no limit regarding the year of publication. We used modified Coleman scoring methodology (mCMS) to identify scientifically sound articles in a reproducible format. The review was limited to the English-language articles.


Six articles met inclusion criteria. In total, 6318 arthroplasties were included in our study. 3217 of these arthroplasties received antibiotic-loaded bone cement and 3101 arthroplasties served as the control. There was no statistical difference between the two groups in terms of the incidence of deep or superficial surgical site infection. The average mCMS score was 67.6, indicating good methodological quality in the included studies.


Present review did not reveal any significant difference in terms of rate of deep or superficial surgical site infection in patients receiving antibiotic-loaded bone cement compared with the control (plain bone cement) during primary TKA. The clinical relevance of this study was that the use of antibiotic-loaded bone cement did not significantly reduce the risk of infection in primary TKA.

Level of evidence



Total knee arthroplasty Infection Antibiotic-loaded bone cement Plain bone cement 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authours declares that they have no conflict of interest.


No funding.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human partecipants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinski declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

For this type of study format consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine and Science for HealthUniversity of MoliseCampobassoItaly

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