Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
J. Bone Joint Infect., 2, 15–22, 2017
J. Bone Joint Infect., 2, 15–22, 2017

Review 01 Jan 2017

Review | 01 Jan 2017

Use of Chlorhexidine Preparations in Total Joint Arthroplasty

Jaiben George, Alison K Klika, and Carlos A Higuera Jaiben George et al.
  • Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

Keywords: Prosthetic joint infection, total joint arthroplasty

Abstract. Prosthetic joint infection (PJI) is a serious complication after total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Chlorhexidine is a widely used antiseptic because of its rapid and persistent action. It is well tolerated and available in different formulations at various concentrations. Chlorhexidine can be used for pre-operative skin cleansing, surgical site preparation, hand antisepsis of the surgical team and intra-articular irrigation of infected joints. The optimal intra-articular concentration of chlorhexidine gluconate in irrigation solution is 2%, to provide a persistent decrease in biofilm formation, though cytotoxicity might be an issue. Although chlorhexidine is relatively cheap, routine use of chlorhexidine without evidence of clear benefits can lead to unnecessary costs, adverse effects and even emergence of resistance. This review focuses on the current applications of various chlorhexidine formulations in TJA. As the treatment of PJI is challenging and expensive, effective preparations of chlorhexidine could help in the prevention and control of PJI.