The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 34 , Issue 2 , 365 - 368

Acceptable Success Rate in Patients With Periprosthetic Knee Joint Infection Treated With Debridement, Antibiotics, and Implant Retention

Ottesen, Casper S. et al.


Acute periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) following primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) surgery can be treated with debridement, antibiotics, and implant retention (DAIR). However, varying results have been reported in the literature and optimal timing of the procedure is still debated.

In this retrospective cohort study, we investigate (a) success rate of DAIR for treating PJI following primary TKA surgery and (b) whether time after primary surgery until DAIR and (c) type of isolated microorganism influence outcome.


Sixty-seven patients with PJI following primary TKA surgery treated with DAIR were identified. Patients with insufficient data and patients who did not fulfill Musculoskeletal Infection Society PJI criteria were excluded, leaving 58 patients for analysis. Minimum follow-up was 2 years. A DAIR was considered a success if the patient was infection free after 2 years.


The overall success rate of PJI treated with DAIR was 84%. Median time until DAIR was 21 days (7-1092). Thirty-four patients (59%) were revised within 28 days, 42 patients (72%) within 42 days, while 10 patients (17%) were revised more than 90 days after primary TKA surgery. The success rates were 85%, 88%, and 60%, respectively.

In the patients revised within 90 days, our success rate was 90% (43/48) regardless of the involved microorganism.


We find DAIR to be a viable and safe treatment option for PJI following primary TKA surgery, when performed early after primary surgery and with the addition of a relevant postrevision antibiotic regime.

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