The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 7, S188 - S194.e1

Antibiotic-Loaded Bone Cement in Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty: Utilization Patterns and Impact on Complications Using a National Database

Jimmy J. Chan, Jonathan Robinson, Jashvant Poeran, Hsin-Hui Huang, Calin S. Moucha, Darwin D. Chen


The routine usage of antibiotic-loaded bone cement (ALBC) in primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is controversial. Its effectiveness in reducing infection risk remains unclear while high-dose antibiotics can lead to multiple adverse effects. The purpose of this population-based study is to evaluate utilization patterns of ALBC in primary TKA and its impact on clinical outcomes.


This retrospective cohort study used data from the nationwide Premier Healthcare claims database (2006-2016). Multivariable models estimated associations between ALBC use and early postoperative infection, kidney injury, allergic reaction, hospital readmission, cost, and length of stay.


ALBC was used in 27.2% of all primary TKAs (N = 1,184,270). Usage increased from 17.3% to 30.2% in 2006-2010, then plateaued. Study covariates differed minimally between groups, suggesting nonselective ALBC use. Utilization was lower in rural (21.4%) and higher in large (>500 beds; 29.4%) hospitals. After adjusting for relevant covariates, ALBC use was associated with significantly decreased odds for early postoperative infection (odds ratio, 0.89; confidence interval, 0.83-0.96) and increased odds for acute kidney injury (odds ratio, 1.06; confidence interval, 1.02-1.11).


With utilization rates of around 30%, we found that ALBC reduced odds for early postoperative infection and increased odds for kidney injury. Strong consideration should be given for selective use of ALBC in primary TKA.

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