Periprosthetic joint infection is a severe complication.
The diagnosis of infection following joint arthroplasty is devastating as it jeopardises the big goal in the mind of a patient and that is to return to normal function after the primary operation. Post operative complications are understood to be a risk, but one worth taking for all patients that consent to undergo the procedure. The surgeons first challenge is to differentiate periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) from other causes of post operative pain. Infection does not always declare itself overtly and so a knowledge of the latest diagnostics strategies is vital.
The risk of failure must be navigated, both in terms the current infection and poor knee function. Unfortunately, while offering the possibility to retain good function, less invasive procedures also runs a greater risk of failing to clear the infection. The key to obtain a good outcome is rapid diagnosis which then enables the timely deployment of a correct treatment strategy.