Retaining well-fixed cementless stem in the treatment of infected hip arthroplasty

Young-Kyun Lee, Kee Haeng Lee, Jae-Hwi Nho, Yong-Chan Ha, Kyung-Hoi Koo
Acta Orthopaedica 2013, 84 (3): 260-4

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Two-stage reconstruction, reimplantation after removal of an infected prosthesis, has been considered to be the gold standard for treatment of infected hip arthroplasty. However, during the removal of a well-fixed femoral stem, the proximal femur can be damaged and a sequestrum can be formed, which might lead to chronic osteomyelitis and difficulty in reimplantation. We wanted to determine whether infection after hip arthroplasty can be treated without removal of a well-fixed stem.

METHODS: We treated 19 patients who had an infection after hip replacement, but a well-fixed cementless stem, with 2-stage reconstruction. At the first stage, we removed the acetabular cup, the liner and the head, but not the stem. We then implanted a cup of cement spacer. After control of infection, we reimplanted the acetabular component and head.

RESULTS: 2 patients did not undergo second-stage reconstruction because they were satisfied with the pain relief and the activity that they had with the cement-spacer implantation. The remaining 17 patients underwent the second-stage of the reconstruction using cementless arthroplasty. At a mean follow-up time of 4 (2-8) years, 15 of the patients had no recurrence of infection, with satisfactory clinical and radiographic outcome.

INTERPRETATION: This second-stage reconstruction after retention of the stem could be an alternative treatment option for periprosthetic infection with a well-fixed stem.

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