The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 7, 2047 - 2050

Diagnosis of Periprosthetic Joint Infection—An Algorithm-Based Approach

Ting, Nicholas T. et al.
Hip Knee


Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) remains one of the most challenging and devastating modes of failure after total hip and knee arthroplasties. Despite the profound urgency and impact of PJI on an individual and societal basis, historically, there have not been standardized definitions of and diagnostic algorithms for infection after total joint arthroplasty.


In a recent symposium, the American Academy of Hip and Knee Surgeons put forth a standardized approach to the prevention, diagnosis, and management of the patient with a suspected PJI.


This review article summarizes these findings, and reviews the algorithmic approach to the diagnosis of PJI.


The diagnosis of PJI is easily made in our experience in 90% of patients by getting an erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein followed by selective aspiration of the joint if these values are elevated or if the clinical suspicion is high. Synovial fluid obtained should be sent for a synovial fluid white blood cell count, differential, and cultures.

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