Forty-two patients (forty-two hips) who had an infection following a hip arthroplasty were managed with open debridement, retention of the prosthetic components, and antibiotic therapy. After a mean duration of follow-up of 6.3 years (range, 0.14 to twenty-two years), only six patients (14 per cent) - four of nineteen who bad had an early postoperative infection and two of four who had an acute hematogenous infection - had been managed successfully. Of the remaining thirty-six patients, three (7 per cent of the entire group) were being managed with chronic suppression with oral administration of antibiotics and thirty-three (79 per cent of the entire group) had a failure of treatment. All nineteen patients who had a late chronic infection were deemed to have had a failure of treatment. Debridement had been performed at a mean of six days (range, two to fourteen days) after the onset of symptoms in the patients who had been managed successfully and at a mean of twenty- three days (range, three to ninety-three days) in those for whom treatment had failed. Debridement with retention of the prosthesis is a potentially successful treatment for early postoperative infection or acute hematogenous infection, provided that it is performed in the first two weeks after the onset of symptoms and that the prosthesis previously had been functioning well. In our experience, this procedure has not been successful when it has been performed more than two weeks after the onset of symptoms. Retention of the prosthesis should not be attempted in patients who have a chronic infection at the site of a hip arthroplasty as this approach universally fails.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine