, Volume 66, Issue 8, pp 1089–1106 | Cite as

Antimicrobial Agents in Orthopaedic Surgery

Prophylaxis and Treatment
Therapy in Practice


The pathogenesis of implant-associated infection involves interaction between the microorganisms (biofilm formation), the implant and the host. Despite improvement of perioperative prophylaxis, orthopaedic implants still remain highly susceptible to bacterial or fungal contamination, generally resulting in persistent implant-associated infection. Therefore, perioperative and life-long prevention of infection is important. For perioperative prophylaxis, a first- or second-generation cephalosporin is recommended, which should be administered between 60 and 30 minutes before incision. The duration of prophylaxis should not exceed 1 day. In centres with a low incidence of infection, a single dose is sufficient. Treatment of infections associated with orthopaedic devices usually requires appropriate surgical intervention combined with prolonged antimicrobial therapy. The choice of the antimicrobial regimen depends on the duration and pathogenesis of infection, stability of the implant, antimicrobial susceptibility of the pathogen and condition of the surrounding soft tissue. The role of rifampicin (rifampin), which has excellent activity on adherent staphylococci, in combination with β-lactams, glycopeptides, fluoroquinolones, minocycline, cotrimoxazole or fusidic acid, in the treatment of staphylococcal infections is outlined. Increasing antimicrobial resistance requires the use of alternative agents, such as quinupristin/dalfopristin, linezolid and daptomycin, but results of clinical trials with these agents are limited. Also reviewed are potential new antimicrobial agents currently undergoing investigation, such as the novel oxazolidinone RWJ-416457, the new glycopeptide dalbavancin, the glycylcycline compound tigecycline, the new carbacephem BP-102 and novel rifamycin derivatives. Vaccination against Staphylococcus aureus with StaphVAX® induced specific antibodies potentially preventing bacteraemia; however, there are no studies on efficacy in the prophylaxis of device-associated infections with this vaccine.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital EpidemiologyUniversity HospitalBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Basel University Medical ClinicKantonsspitalLiestalSwitzerland

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