Articles | Volume 4, issue 6
Original full-length article
10 Dec 2019
Original full-length article |  | 10 Dec 2019

Early Debridement, antibiotics and implant retention (DAIR) in patients with suspected acute infection after hip or knee arthroplasty - safe, effective and without negative functional impact

Luís Henrique Barros, Tiago Amorim Barbosa, João Esteves, Miguel Abreu, Daniel Soares, and Ricardo Sousa

Keywords: acute prosthetic join infection, antibiotics, debridement, irrigation, retention, functional outcome

Abstract. Introduction: Debridement, antibiotics and implant retention (DAIR) is known to be effective in treating acute periprosthetic joint infection (PJI). However, deciding to perform additional surgery in the early postoperative period may be challenging as there is the concern of adding morbidity and clinical presentation is often subtle. We mean to assess the impact of early DAIR on final functional outcome.

Methods: A case-control comparison was performed between patients that underwent DAIR for suspected PJI between 2010-2016 and controls randomly selected (1:2 ratio) from a list of primary joint replacements. Patients were matched for anatomic site, age, gender, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification, body mass index and follow-up time. The outcome of surgical treatment and complications were assessed and Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (HOOS) or Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) were performed.

Results: Thirty-eight cases were included at a mean follow-up of 42 months. Infection was not confirmed in one patient. There was one infection related-death and three other cases of treatment failure that required a two-stage revision. Overall success rate was 89.2%. There were no significant patient reported differences regarding final functional outcome between both groups: pain 91±6 vs. 87±13; other symptoms 90±8 vs. 90±9; activities of day living 86±8 vs. 85±14; sport 63±13 vs. 57±16; quality of life 78±17 vs. 76±16.

Discussion: These findings support that DAIR for suspected acute PJI is safe, effective and causes no impact on final functional results. Thus, a low threshold for assuming infection and subsequent DAIR may safely be adopted in the early postoperative period.