The use of antibiotic-loaded cement is believed to prevent infection in primary total knee arthroplasty, but there is a lack of randomized studies to support this concept. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of an antibiotic-loaded cement to reduce the infection rate in primary total knee arthroplasty.Methods:
This is a prospective randomized study with 2948 cemented total knee arthroplasties, in which bone cement without antibiotic was used in 1465 knees (the control group) and a bone cement loaded with erythromycin and colistin was used in 1483 knees (the study group). All patients received the same systemic prophylactic antibiotics. The patients were followed for a minimum of twelve months. The rate of infection was analyzed according to the criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Results:
The rate of deep infection (1.4% in the control group and 1.35% in the study group; p = 0.96) and the rate of superficial infection (1.2% and 1.8%, respectively; p = 0.53) were similar in both groups. The factors related to a higher rate of deep infection in a multivariate analysis were male sex and an operating time of >125 minutes.Conclusions:
The use of erythromycin and colistin-loaded bone cement in total knee arthroplasty did not lead to a decrease in the rate of infection when systemic prophylactic antibiotics were used, a finding that suggests that the use of antibiotic-loaded bone cement would not be indicated in the general population. Further research is needed to assess whether its use is recommended for patients with a higher risk of infection.Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.