The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 24, Issue: 5, Page: 1240-1246

Two-stage knee arthrodesis with a modular intramedullary nail due to septic failure of revision total knee arthroplasty with extensor mechanism deficiency

Friedrich, Max J; Schmolders, Jan; Wimmer, Matthias D; Strauss, Andreas C; Ploeger, Milena M; Wirtz, Dieter C; Gravius, Sascha; Randau, Thomas M


Periprosthetic joint infection is a serious complication and reconstruction after failed revision total knee arthroplasty with significant bone loss and compromised soft-tissues can be challenging. Objective of this study was to assess clinical and functional results, implant survival and infection recurrence rates in patients treated with two-stage arthrodesis after failed revision TKA with extensor mechanism deficiencies due to PJI, and to identify the factors that affect outcomes after surgery.


Thirty seven patients with PJI treated within a two-stage exchange and reimplantation of an arthrodesis nail between 2008 and 2014 were included. Systemic and local risk factors were graded preoperatively according to McPherson et al. All patients were treated according to a structured treatment algorithm. Clinical and functional evaluation was performed using the Oxford Knee Score and the Visual Analogue Scale.


Thirty two of 37 patients (86.5%) were graded as free of infection. Five patients (13.5%) had recurrent infection after arthrodesis with the need of revision surgery. Mean leg-length discrepancy was 2.2 cm. The mean VAS for pain was three, the mean Oxford Knee Score was 38 ± 9. Total implant survival at a 74 month follow-up was 74.3% (95% CI: 45.4 to 91.1%), as determined by Kaplan–Meier survival curves. Local McPherson Score, as well as number of revisions was found to be of significant influence to the survival rate.


Septic failure of revision knee arthroplasty can be effectively treated with two-stage arthrodesis using a modular intramedullary nail, providing a stable and painless limb with satisfactory functional results and acceptable infection eradication rates.

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