The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 7 , S224 - S227

Characterization of Outcomes of 2-Stage Exchange Arthroplasty in the Treatment of Prosthetic Joint Infections

Ford, Amy N. et al.
Hip Knee


Two-stage revision is the preferred treatment for prosthetic hip and knee infections in the United States. Recent studies have questioned the true success rate of this treatment. The purpose of this study is to investigate outcomes of prosthetic hip and knee infections undergoing resection arthroplasty and spacer insertion at a single institution.


We identified 103 patients who underwent prosthesis resection and spacer placement for infection over a 10-year period. Twenty-three cases were excluded based on preset exclusion criteria leaving 80 cases (56 knees, 24 hips). A retrospective review was performed to examine the outcomes of these patients.


Following spacer placement but before reimplantation, 9 (11.25%) of the 80 joints underwent repeat debridement and spacer exchange for persistent infection. Twenty-four (30.00%) patients had a serious complication during their treatment course. Fourteen (17.50%) patients never underwent reimplantation. Of these, 10 continued with spacer retention, 2 had resection arthroplasty, and 1 each had an amputation and an arthrodesis. Of the 66 patients with successful reimplantation, 48 (72.70%) remained infection free at most recent follow-up.


Two-stage revision does not result in the high rates of cure reported previously, when taking into account the substantial number of patients who never undergo the subsequent reimplantation surgery. Of those who underwent reimplantation in our study, many required additional spacer exchange or had complications. Surgeons and patients should consider these outcomes when discussing the treatment of prosthetic hip and knee infections.

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