Outcome and management of infected wounds after total hip arthroplasty

Jeffrey A. Gusenoff, David S. Hungerford, Joseph C. Orlando, Maurice Y. Nahabedian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infected wounds after total hip arthroplasty can be limb threatening. Management strategies are designed to eradicate infection, to obtain stable wound coverage, and to preserve the prosthesis. However, there is no general consensus for optimal management. The authors reviewed their 7-year combined orthopaedic and plastic surgical experience to provide a protocol for management. Ten patients (six women and four men) with a mean age of 60 years (range, 41-82 years) were studied. Primary hip diagnoses included arthritis (n = 8) and avascular necrosis (n = 2). Wound analysis included the size, depth, and infection as well as exposure of bone, joint capsule, and prosthetic components. Follow-up ranged from 1 to 6 years (mean, 3.9). Primary plastic surgical operations included a pedicle muscle flap (n = 4), debridement and local wound care (n = 3), and delayed wound closure (n = 3). Salvage of the total hip arthroplasty was achieved in 6 of 10 patients. Complete wound healing was achieved in 9 of 10 patients. The authors conclude that salvage of the infected hip prosthesis is accomplished best via early recognition, irrigation, debridement, and plastic surgery consultation. Management strategies include muscle flap coverage for complex wounds associated with exposure of prosthetic components, bone, or hardware; debridement with delayed closure or skin graft for large superficial wounds without deep structure involvement; and local wound care for small superficial wounds, poor surgical candidates with clean wounds, and when surgical options are not possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-592
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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