Numerous protocols are used to treat an infected total joint arthroplasty. We evaluated survival outcomes of patients with infected total joint arthroplasties over 35 years to determine if one treatment is more effective than others.Of 17,561 total joint arthroplasties performed at our facility, 116 (0.66%) were diagnosed with deep infection, 22 of which (18.97%) were hematogenous. Success rates among resection, 1-stage, and 2-stage reimplantation arthroplasty were compared in each joint, as were organism types. After excluding 8 patients (6.9%) who died within 1 year of final treatment and 8 lost to follow-up, 30 hips and 70 knees were studied. Seventeen hips were treated with 2-stage arthroplasty; 70.6% succeeded after the first attempt, and 82.4% succeeded after the second. Fifty-one 2-stage knees had 54.9% success after the first attempt and 66.7% success after the second. Five of 5 hips treated with 1-stage arthroplasty succeeded after the first attempt, while 1 of 3 one-stage knees succeeded after the first attempt; none of these 8 joints had a hematogenous infection. No joints requiring a third treatment were successful after the third attempt. There were no differences in survival between different bacteria.Treatment of deep prosthetic joint infection is difficult once the first attempt has failed and becomes more so after failure of the second attempt. Two-stage arthroplasty provides good results in most cases (82% in hips, 67% in knees), but a third attempt does not increase these percentages. The organism type does not significantly affect success in infected joint treatment.
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