The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 6, 1227 - 1232.e2

The Presence of Sinus Tract Adversely Affects the Outcome of Treatment of Periprosthetic Joint Infections

Xu, Chi et al.
Hip Knee


A sinus tract may be encountered in patients with periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) and constitutes a major criterion for diagnosis. The aim of this study is to identify associated factors for the presence of sinus tract and outcome of 2-stage exchange arthroplasty in these patients.


We retrospectively reviewed all patients with PJI following hip and knee arthroplasty from 2000 to 2017. Of them, 161 patients with a sinus tract had a minimum follow-up of 1 year following 2-stage exchange arthroplasty. These patients were matched 1:2 with those without sinus tract by using propensity score matching. Treatment success was assessed using the modified Delphi criteria. A multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the effect of sinus tract on the outcome and associated factors for the presence of sinus tract.


Factors significantly associated with sinus tract included smoking (odds ratio [OR] = 1.83), hypothyroidism (OR = 1.62), hypoalbuminemia (OR = 1.52), hip joint involvement (OR = 1.43), and prior revision surgery (OR = 1.37). Patients with sinus tract had a significantly higher rate of failure compared to those without sinus tract (OR = 2.94).


This study demonstrates that the presence of sinus tract in patients with PJI adversely affects the outcome of treatment of these patients. The presence of sinus tract may be a proxy for other issues such as poor periarticular soft tissue, the poor nutritional status of the host, and multiple prior operations. These findings need to be borne in mind when treating patients with PJI and a concomitant sinus tract.

Download article