Cost analysis of debridement and retention for management of prosthetic joint infection

T. N. Peel, M. M. Dowsey, K. L. Buising, D. Liew, P. F. M. Choong

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Prosthetic joint infection remains one of the most devastating complications of arthroplasty. Debridement and retention of the prosthesis is an attractive management option in carefully selected patients. Despite this, there are no data investigating the cost of this management modality for prosthetic joint infections. The aim of this case-control study was to calculate the cost associated with debridement and retention for management of prosthetic joint infection compared with primary joint replacement surgery without prosthetic joint infection. From 1 January 2008 to 30 June 2010, there were 21 prosthetic joint infections matched to 42 control patients. Controls were matched to cases according to the arthroplasty site, age and sex. Cases had a greater number of unplanned readmissions (100% vs. 7.1%; p<0.001), more additional surgery (3.3 vs. 0.07; p<0.001) and longer total bed days (31.6 vs. 7.9days; p<0.001). In addition they had more inpatient, outpatient and emergency department visits (p<0.001, respectively). For patients with prosthetic joint infection the total cost, including index operation and costs of management of the prosthetic joint infection, was 3.1 times the cost of primary arthoplasty; the mean cost for cases was Australian dollars (AUD) $69414 (±29869) compared with $22085 (±8147) (p<0.001). The demand for arthroplasty continues to grow and with that, the number of prosthetic joint infections will also increase, placing significant burden on the health system. Our study adds significantly to the growing body of evidence highlighting the substantial costs associated with prosthetic joint infection. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Case-control study
  • Debridement and retention
  • Economic analysis
  • Prosthetic joint infection

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