Between 1970 and 1983, resection arthroplasty was done as a salvage procedure for twenty-eight knees (twenty-six patients) with infection after total arthroplasty. Eleven patients had multiarticular rheumatoid arthritis; fourteen, osteoarthritis; and one, multiarticular neuropathic arthropathy. Systemic signs of infection were eliminated in all patients and local signs, in 89 per cent of the patients. After resection arthroplasty alone, fifteen patients were able to walk independently. Six patients with monoarticular osteoarthritis who found the resection arthroplasty to be unacceptable had a successful secondary arthrodesis. In three patients a spontaneous bone fusion developed after the resection, with the knee in a good position. Two patients who were unable to walk before the resection arthroplasty were still unable to do so postoperatively. Neither the patient's disease nor the type of prosthesis that had been used was a reliable predictor of success of the resection arthroplasty. The patients who had had the most severe disability before the total knee arthroplasty were most likely to be satisfied. Patients who had had less disability were more likely to find the results of resection arthroplasty to be unsatisfactory.
Copyright 1987 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated