The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 3, 924 - 928

Serum and Wound Vancomycin Levels After Intrawound Administration in Primary Total Joint Arthroplasty

Johnson, Jeremiah D. et al.
Hip Knee


Periprosthetic joint infection is the most common cause of readmissions after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Intrawound vancomycin powder (VP) has reduced infection rates in spine surgery; however, there are no data regarding VP in primary TJA.


Thirty-four TJA patients received 2 g of VP intraoperatively to investigate VP’s pharmacokinetics. Serum and wound concentrations were measured at multiple intervals over 24 hours after closure.


All serum concentrations were subtherapeutic (<15μg/mL) and peaked 12 hours after closure (4.7μg/mL; standard deviation [SD], 3.2). Wound concentrations were 922 μg/mL (SD, 523) 3 hours after closure and 207 μg/mL (SD, 317) at 24 hours. VP had a half-life of 7.2 hours (95% confidence interval, 7.0-9.3) in TJA wounds.


VP produced highly therapeutic intrawound concentrations while yielding low systemic levels in TJA. VP may serve as a safe adjunct in the prevention of periprosthetic joint infection.

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