The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 24, Issue: 4, Page: 869-875

Rapidly growing non-tuberculous mycobacteria infection of prosthetic knee joints: A report of two cases

Kim, Manyoung; Ha, Chul-Won; Jang, Jae Won; Park, Yong-Beom

Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) cause prosthetic knee joint infections in rare cases. Infections with rapidly growing non-tuberculous mycobacteria (RGNTM) are difficult to treat due to their aggressive clinical behavior and resistance to antibiotics. Infections of a prosthetic knee joint by RGNTM have rarely been reported. A standard of treatment has not yet been established because of the rarity of the condition.


In previous reports, diagnoses of RGNTM infections in prosthetic knee joints took a long time to reach because the condition was not suspected, due to its rarity. In addition, it is difficult to identify RGNTM in the lab because special identification tests are needed. In previous reports, after treatment for RGNTM prosthetic infections, knee prostheses could not be re-implanted in all cases but one, resulting in arthrodesis or resection arthroplasty; this was most likely due to the aggressiveness of these organisms. In the present report, two cases of prosthetic knee joint infection caused by RGNTM (Mycobacterium abscessus) are described that were successfully treated, and in which prosthetic joints were finally reimplanted in two-stage revision surgery.

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