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Periprosthetic Joint Infection Increases the Risk of One-Year Mortality
Benjamin Zmistowski, BS1; Joseph A. Karam, MD1; Joel B. Durinka, MD1; David S. Casper, BS1; Javad Parvizi, MD, FRCS1
1 Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 925 Chestnut Street, 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107. E-mail address for J. Parvizi: research@rothmaninstitute.net
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A commentary by Thomas J. Blumenfeld, MD, is linked to the online version of this article at jbjs.org.

Investigation performed at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. One or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Dec 18;95(24):2177-2184. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.00789
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Periprosthetic joint infection continues to potentially complicate an otherwise successful joint replacement. The treatment of this infection often requires multiple surgical procedures associated with increased complications and morbidity. This study examined the relationship between periprosthetic joint infection and mortality and aimed to determine the effect of periprosthetic joint infection on mortality and any predictors of mortality in patients with periprosthetic joint infection.


Four hundred and thirty-six patients with at least one surgical intervention secondary to confirmed periprosthetic joint infection were compared with 2342 patients undergoing revision arthroplasty for aseptic failure. The incidence of mortality at thirty days, ninety days, one year, two years, and five years after surgery was assessed. Multivariate analysis was used to assess periprosthetic joint infection as an independent predictor of mortality. In the periprosthetic joint infection population, variables investigated as potential risk factors for mortality were evaluated.


Mortality was significantly greater (p < 0.001) in patients with periprosthetic joint infection compared with those undergoing aseptic revision arthroplasty at ninety days (3.7% versus 0.8%), one year (10.6% versus 2.0%), two years (13.6% versus 3.9%), and five years (25.9% versus 12.9%). After controlling for age, sex, ethnicity, number of procedures, involved joint, body mass index, and Charlson Comorbidity Index, revision arthroplasty for periprosthetic joint infection was associated with a fivefold increase in mortality compared with revision arthroplasty for aseptic failures. In the periprosthetic joint infection population, independent predictors of mortality included increasing age, higher Charlson Comorbidity Index, history of stroke, polymicrobial infections, and cardiac disease.


Although it is well known that periprosthetic joint infection is a devastating complication that severely limits joint function and is consistently difficult to eradicate, surgeons must also be cognizant of the systemic impact of periprosthetic joint infection and its major influence on fatal outcome in patients.

Level of Evidence: 

Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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