Review of Salvage Therapies for Periprosthetic Joint Infection After Total Knee Arthroplasty


Periprosthetic joint infection after knee arthroplasty is exceptionally challenging to manage and can result in significant morbidity and mortality for the patient. When irrigation and debridement, polyethylene exchange, and one- or two-stage exchange fail to clear the infection, the surgeon is left with two primary salvage therapies: knee arthrodesis and amputation. The decision between these two treatments is difficult and requires an open conversation with the patient about their desire and expectations. The purpose of this review article is to give an overview of knee arthrodesis and amputation after periprosthetic joint infection about the knee as well as provide two case examples to highlight these two management strategies. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 30(4):231–234, 2021)

Key words: knee arthrodesis, above-the-knee amputation, periprosthetic joint infection

Joshua W. Mueller, BS; Simon C. Mears, MD, PhD; Benjamin M. Stronach, MS, MD; C. Lowry Barnes MD; and Jeffrey B. Stambough, MD