Surgical Treatment of Knee Infections

If the infection has penetrated the deeper tissues around the knee joint, surgical treatment is necessary. The various surgical treatment options include:

Debridement for Periprosthetic Knee Infection

When the deep infection is diagnosed early, a surgical washout and debridement (removal of infected debris and dead tissue) may be all that is required to treat the condition. The knee implant is thoroughly cleaned during this procedure and any plastic liners or spacers may be replaced.

Staged-Surgery for Periprosthetic Knee Infection

If the periprosthetic infection is diagnosed at a later stage, a 2-staged surgery may be performed. The first stage involves removal of the knee implant, washout of the knee joint, placement of an antibiotic spacer, which maintains the integrity of the joint, and the administration of intravenous antibiotics. The second stage, which occurs a few weeks later, is the placement of the new knee prosthesis after the removal of the antibiotic spacer and a surgical washout of the knee.

Single-Stage Surgery for Periprosthetic Knee Infection

During this procedure, the infected knee implant is removed, the knee joint is washed out, and the new implant is placed within the knee. This relatively new method of treating a periprosthetic knee infection is slowly gaining popularity.

Prognosis Periprosthetic Knee Infection Treatment

The prognosis for treatment of a periprosthetic knee infection is good if the infection is identified early and treated promptly. In case the infection has been present for some time, a revision surgery and replacement of the knee prosthesis is usually necessary.