Despite significant advances in intraoperative antimicrobial procedures, deep wound infection remains the most serious complication associated with primary, cemented total joint arthroplasty. A systematic review was conducted to evaluate studies of antibiotic bone cement prophylaxis for reducing the risk of deep wound infection. The literature included 22 articles providing estimates of the prophylactic effectiveness of antibiotic cement. In reducing deep wound infection, antibiotic cement was consistently superior to plain cement, similar to systematic antiobiotics, and independent and additive in effect when combined with other prophylactic measures. Randomized controlled trials in particular had important methodological limitations. However, the collective results nearly unanimously favored prophylactic use of antibiotic cement in primary arthoplasty procedures.