© 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 30:1634–1639, 2012

Bacterial adherence to separated modular components in joint prosthesis: A clinical study

Enrique Gómez‐Barrena Jaime Esteban Francisco Medel Diana Molina‐Manso Alberto Ortiz‐Pérez Jose Cordero‐Ampuero José A. Puértolas
Ankle Elbow Hip Knee Shoulder Wrist

Bacterial adherence on total joint replacement implants may lead to biofilm formation and implant‐related osteoarticular infection. It is unclear if different biomaterials in the prosthetic components are more prone to facilitate this bacterial adherence, although ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) component exchange in modular systems has been clinically utilized in the early management of these infections. To clarify if the amount of clinically adhered microorganisms was related to the material or the component, we investigated retrieved implants from infected joint replacements. Thirty‐two patients were revised after confirmed implant‐related infection through positive cultures. Eighty‐seven total joint components (hip and knee) were obtained and separately sonicated following a previously published protocol. Cultures were quantified, and detected colony forming units (CFU) were adjusted according to the component surface and compared based on the component material and location. Variable adherence of bacteria to chrome cobalt alloys, UHMWPE, hydroxyapatite coated components, and titanium alloys. The commonest isolated organisms were Staphylococcus epidermidis (23 of 87 components) and Staphylococcus aureus (10 of 87). Twelve components did not show any microorganism adhered despite location in an infected joint, with positive cultures in other components. A mixed linear model adjusted for random effects (the random effect being the infected patient) obtained convergence for the CFU/mm2 variable, but could not confirm a significantly higher adherence to a particular component or to a particular biomaterial. Therefore, the bacterial adherence primarily depends on the infective microorganism and the response of each individual patient, rather than materials or components.


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