The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 11, 2749 - 2756

Two-Stage Exchange Arthroplasty for Periprosthetic Joint Infection: The Rate and Reason for the Attrition After the First Stage

Wang, Qiaojie et al.
Hip Knee

Background

Two-stage exchange arthroplasty remains a popular surgical treatment for patients with chronic periprosthetic joint infection (PJI). Patients who do not receive reimplantation were largely overlooked in the current literature. We aimed at investigating the clinical outcomes of these patients.

Methods

Our institutional PJI database was retrospectively reviewed to identify 616 patients (237 hips, 379 knees) who were treated with an intended 2-stage exchange. Of them, 111 (18%) did not receive reimplantation within a minimum follow-up of 1 year. Chart review and targeted interviews were performed to elucidate the cause of attrition. Patients were considered to have failed treatment in the absence of reimplantation if they remained medically unfit for reimplantation, underwent a salvage procedure, or died during the study period.

Results

Of the 111 patients without reimplantation, 29 (26.1%) did well with their retained spacer and were unwilling to proceed with reimplantation, 23 (20.7%) underwent salvage procedures, and the remaining 59 (53.2%) were considered medically unfit for reimplantation, with 34 of them dying within 1 year of initial spacer insertion. The overall success rate for 2-stage exchange cohort at 2 years was 65.7% when treatment failure without reimplantation was taken into account. Several factors associated with increased risk of treatment failure without reimplantation were identified using a multivariate regression model.

Conclusion

Almost 1 in 5 patients may never receive the intended reimplantation. Among many reasons for attrition, mortality appears to be a relatively common event. The current definition of treatment success does not take into account the attrition group and thus inflates the relative success of 2-stage exchange arthroplasty.

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