Prosthetic joint infections: update in diagnosis and treatment

Swiss Med Wkly. 2005 Apr 30;135(17-18):243-51.


The pathogenesis of prosthetic joint infection is related to microorganisms growing in biofilms, rendering these infections difficult to diagnose and to eradicate. Low-grade infections in particular are difficult to distinguish from aseptic failure, often presenting only with early loosening and persisting pain, or no clinical signs of infection at all. A combination of preoperative and intraoperative tests is usually needed for an accurate diagnosis of infection of prosthetic joint infections. Successful treatment requires adequate surgical procedure combined with long-term antimicrobial therapy, ideally with an agent acting on adhering stationary- phase microorganisms. In this article, epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of prosthetic joint infections are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Joint Prosthesis*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / diagnosis*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / drug therapy*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / epidemiology
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / microbiology
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / surgery
  • Risk Factors
  • Switzerland / epidemiology


  • Anti-Infective Agents