Early prosthetic hip joint infection treated with debridement, prosthesis retention and biofilm-active antibiotics: Functional outcomes, quality of life and complications

C. Aboltins, M. M. Dowsey, T. Peel, Wen Kwang Lim, S. Parikh, P. Stanley, P. F. Choong

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patients treated for early prosthetic joint infection (PJI) with surgical debridement, prosthesis retention and biofilm-active antibiotics, such as rifampicin or fluoroquinolones have a rate of successful infection eradication that is similar to patients treated with the traditional approach of prosthesis exchange. It is therefore important to consider other outcomes after PJI treatment that may influence management decisions, such as function, quality of life (QOL) and treatment-associated complications. 

Aims: To describe rates of successful treatment for patients with PJI undergoing surgical debridement, prosthesis retention and biofilm-active antibiotics and compare their functional outcomes, QOL and complication rates to patients without PJI. 

Methods: Nineteen patients treated for PJI after hip arthroplasty with debridement, prosthesis retention and biofilm-active antibiotics were matched to 76 controls who underwent hip arthroplasty with no infection. 

Results: Cumulative survival free from treatment failure at 2 years was 88% (95% confidence interval, 59-97%). PJI cases had significant improvement from pre-arthroplasty to 12-months post-arthroplasty in function according to Harris Hip Score and QOL according to the 12-item Short Form Health Survey Physical Component Summary. There was no significant difference in the improvement between controls and cases. PJI was not a risk factor for poor function or QOL. Medical complications occurred more frequently in cases (6/19 (32%)) than controls (9/76 (12%); P = 0.04), with this difference being accounted for by drug reactions. Surgical complications were the same in the two groups. 

Conclusions: Treatment of PJI with debridement, prosthesis retention and biofilm-active antibiotics is successful, well tolerated and results in significant improvements in function and QOL, which are similar to patients without PJI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-815
Number of pages6
JournalInternal Medicine Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adverse effect
  • Debridement
  • Prosthetic-related infection
  • Quality of life
  • Rifampicin

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