Despite the growing number of studies reporting on periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), there is little information on one-stage exchange arthroplasty for the revision of infected rotating-hinge prostheses, which can be among the most difficult PJI presentations to treat.
After one-stage direct exchange revision for an infected rotating-hinge TKA prosthesis, and using a multimodal approach for infection control, we asked: (1) What is the survivorship free from repeat revision for infection and survivorship free from reoperation for any cause? (2) What is the clinical outcome, based on the Oxford Knee Score, of these patients at the latest follow-up?
Between January 2011 and December 2017, we treated 101 patients with infected rotating-hinge knee prostheses at our hospital. All patients who underwent a one-stage exchange using another rotating-hinge implant were potentially eligible for this retrospective study. During that period, we generally used a one-stage approach when treating PJIs. Eighty-three percent (84 of 101) of patients were treated with one-stage exchange, and the remainder were treated with two-stage exchange. Of the 84 treated with one-stage exchange, eight patients died of unrelated causes and were therefore excluded, one patient declined to participate in the study, and another eight patients were lost before the minimum study follow-up of 2 years or had incomplete datasets, leaving 80% (67 of 84) for analysis in this study. The included study population consisted of 60% males (40 of 67) with a mean age of 64 ± 8 years and a mean (range) BMI of 30 ± 6 kg/m2 (21 to 40). The mean number of prior surgeries was 4 ± 2 (1 to 9) on the affected knee. Fifteen percent (10 of 67) of knees had a preoperative joint communicating sinus tract, and 66% (44 of 67) had experienced a prior PJI on the affected knee. The antimicrobial regimen was chosen based on the advice of our infectious disease consultant and individually adapted for the organism cultured. The mean follow-up duration was 6 ± 2 years. Kaplan-Meier survivorship analysis was performed using the endpoints of survivorship free from repeat revision for infection and survivorship free from all-cause revision. The functional outcome was assessed using the Oxford Knee Score (on a 12- to 60-point scale, with lower scores representing less pain and greater function), obtained by interviewing patients for this study at their most recent follow-up visit. Preoperative scores were not obtained.
The Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated an overall survivorship free from reoperation for any cause of 75% (95% CI 64% to 87%) at the mean follow-up of 6 years postoperatively. Survivorship free from any repeat operative procedure for infection was 90% (95% CI 83% to 97%) at 6 years. The mean postoperative Oxford Knee Score was 37 ± 11 points.
With an overall revision rate of about 25% at 6 years and the limited functional results based on the poor Oxford Knee Scores, patients should be counseled to have modest expectations concerning postoperative pain and function level after one-stage exchange of an infected rotating-hinge arthroplasty. Nevertheless, patients may be informed about a reasonable chance of PJI eradication and might opt for this approach as a means to try to avoid high transfemoral amputation or joint arthrodesis, which in this population often is associated with the inability to ambulate at all. Regarding the relatively high number of patients with aseptic loosening, future studies might focus on implant design of revision knee systems as well. A longer course of oral antibiotics after such procedures may also be warranted to limit the chance of reinfection but requires further study.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, therapeutic study.