Infection after total knee arthroplasty poses formidable challenges to the surgeon. Once an infection is diagnosed, the identification of the organism and its sensitivity to antibiotics is essential. The host's healing capacity is vital. Supplemental nutrition and cessation of smoking can improve wound healing. Surgical goals include debridement of necrotic tissue and elimination of the dead space. Intravenous antibiotics and a 2-stage protocol are the standard of care. At our institution, the first stage is performed with an implant and antibiotic-cement composite. This articulating spacer maintains limb length and tissue compliance. The patient can maintain a functional status between stages. Definitive reconstruction is more readily accomplished with this method in contrast to the static spacer approach. The clinical efficacy of this protocol has been well documented in the literature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine