Sufficient Release of Antibiotic by a Spacer 6 Weeks after Implantation in Two-stage Revision of Infected Hip Prostheses

  • Bernd Fink
  • Sebastian Vogt
  • Martin Reinsch
  • Hubert Büchner
Basic Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11999-011-1937-4

Cite this article as:
Fink, B., Vogt, S., Reinsch, M. et al. Clin Orthop Relat Res (2011) 469: 3141. doi:10.1007/s11999-011-1937-4



Although antibiotic-loaded spacers are commonly used to treat periprosthetic infections, it is unclear whether spacers continue to release bactericidal levels of antibiotic 6 weeks after implantation.


We asked whether an antibiotic can be detected in the tissue surrounding the spacer 6 weeks after implantation and whether the concentration is higher than the minimal inhibition concentration (MIC) previously determined for pathogens that are responsible for most periprosthetic infections.


We removed 14 spacers used in two-stage septic revisions of infected hip prostheses 6 weeks after the primary implantations and determined the concentration of the antibiotics in the membrane formed between the spacer and the neighboring bone on the acetabular and the femoral sides. In seven cases Copal cement with gentamicin and clindamycin were used, and in seven other cases vancomycin was added to the Copal cement. Concentrations of the spacer antibiotics in the neighboring tissue were determined by tandem mass spectroscopy.


All three antibiotics were detected in concentrations higher than their MIC. There were no differences between the groups regardless whether vancomycin was added to the cement, or whether the cement was applied with the acetabular cup spacer or with the stem spacer.


We concluded that, using the spacer technique described in this study, 6 weeks after spacer implantation, the concentrations of antibiotic are sufficient to treat a periprosthetic infection.

Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd Fink
    • 1
  • Sebastian Vogt
    • 2
  • Martin Reinsch
    • 3
  • Hubert Büchner
    • 2
  1. 1.Clinic of Joint Replacement, General and Rheumatic OrthopaedicsOrthopaedic Clinic Markgröningen gGmbHMarkgröningenGermany
  2. 2.Heraeus Medical GmbHWehrheimGermany
  3. 3.Analytic Center Biopharm GmbHBerlinGermany

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