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Poor Prognosis of Patients Treated for Periprosthetic Joint Infection

  • Evidence Based Review in Orthopedics
  • Published:
HSS Journal ®


The study by Gomez et al., “The Fate of Spacers in the Treatment of Periprosthetic Joint Infection,” evaluates the clinical course and success rate of treatment of periprosthetic joint infection with two-stage revision with spacer placement in the interim period. The current review critically analyzes the findings of this study and examines how these findings may influence patient care in the field of hip and knee replacement. Gomez et al. report sobering results of two-stage revision with spacer placement for periprosthetic joint infection. Nearly 20% of patients in their study who had a spacer placed never went on to get a new prosthesis and nearly 20% of those who did get a new prosthesis ultimately failed treatment. The authors reported a 7.5% mortality rate in the interstage period after resection arthroplasty. This study provides valuable information for counseling patients about the outcomes of treatment using spacers for infection after total joint arthroplasty. The results of this study also highlight the need for future investigation into better treatments for periprosthetic joint infections.

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Correspondence to Cynthia A. Kahlenberg MD.

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Cynthia A. Kahlenberg, MD, and Alexia Hernandez-Soria, MD, have declared that they have no conflict of interest. Michael B. Cross, MD, reports personal fees from Acelity, Exactech, Inc., Intellijoint, Link Orthopaedics, Smith & Nephew; editorial/governing board of Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Bone and Joint Journal 360 and Techniques in Orthopaedics, outside the work.

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Kahlenberg, C.A., Hernandez-Soria, A. & Cross, M.B. Poor Prognosis of Patients Treated for Periprosthetic Joint Infection. HSS Jrnl 13, 96–99 (2017).

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