Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 471, Issue 6, pp 2017–2027 | Cite as

High Infection Rate Outcomes in Long-bone Tumor Surgery with Endoprosthetic Reconstruction in Adults: A Systematic Review

  • Antonella Racano
  • Theresa Pazionis
  • Forough Farrokhyar
  • Benjamin Deheshi
  • Michelle Ghert



Limb salvage surgery (LSS) with endoprosthetic replacement is the most common method of reconstruction following bone tumor resection in the adult population. The risk of a postoperative infection developing is high when compared with conventional arthroplasty and there are no appropriate guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis.


We sought to answer the following questions: (1) What is the overall risk of deep infection and the causative organism in lower-extremity long-bone tumor surgery with endoprosthetic reconstruction? (2) What antibiotic regimens are used with endoprosthetic reconstruction? (3) Is there a correlation between infection and either duration of postoperative antibiotics or sample size?


We conducted a systematic review of the literature for clinical studies that reported infection rates in adults with primary bony malignancies of the lower extremity treated with surgery and endoprosthetic reconstruction. The search included articles published in English between 1980 and July 2011.


The systematic literature review yielded 48 studies reporting on a total of 4838 patients. The overall pooled weighted infection rate for lower-extremity LSS with endoprosthetic reconstruction was approximately 10% (95% CI, 8%–11%), with the most common causative organism reported to be Gram-positive bacteria in the majority of cases. The pooled weighted infection rate was 13% after short-term postoperative antibiotics and 8% after long-term postoperative antibiotics. There was no correlation between sample size and infection rate.


Infection rates of 10% are high when compared with rates for conventional arthroplasty. Our results suggest that long-term antibiotic prophylaxis decreases the risk of deep infection. However, the data should be interpreted with caution owing to the retrospective nature of the studies.


Antibiotic Prophylaxis Deep Infection Limb Salvage Surgery Endoprosthetic Replacement Endoprosthetic Reconstruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Mike Fraumeni for technical assistance with the systematic database search.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella Racano
    • 1
  • Theresa Pazionis
    • 1
  • Forough Farrokhyar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Benjamin Deheshi
    • 1
  • Michelle Ghert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMcMaster University, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer CentreHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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