The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 34 , Issue 2 , 352 - 358

Treatment of Prosthetic Joint Infection: Established Patient Relationships May Impact Medical Decision-Making

Ryan, Sean P. et al.
Hip Knee


Choosing the intervention for prosthetic joint infections, whether debridement, antibiotics, and implant retention (DAIR), or explant and antibiotic spacer placement, is multifactorial. One characteristic that may influence this decision is a previously established relationship with the patient. We hypothesized that patients receiving their arthroplasty at an outside institution and presenting with infection would be more likely to undergo removal of their implant without an attempt at DAIR compared to patients who underwent primary arthroplasty at the investigating institution.


The institutional database was queried for primary total hip and knee arthroplasty infections. Manual review of medical records was performed, excluding patients who did not meet the Musculoskeletal Infection Society definition of infection. Patient demographics, medical comorbidities, presenting infection characteristics, and surgical intervention were collected. Multivariable analysis was performed to determine the independent predictors of treatment.


A total of 270 patients were included for analysis. McPherson score (P < .001) and duration of symptoms (P < .001) were associated with subsequent treatment. Additionally, when controlling for age, gender, symptom duration category, procedure, McPherson score, and American Society of Anesthesiologists category, patients with index procedures at outside hospitals were more likely to undergo implant removal (odds ratio, 36.30; 95% confidence interval, 8.16-161.51; P < .001).


Patients receiving their primary arthroplasty at an outside hospital and presenting with infection are more likely to undergo removal of hardware as their initial treatment. To avoid treatment bias, institutional protocols should be implemented to guide the shared decision-making process.

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