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Efficacy of Intrawound Vancomycin in Prevention of Periprosthetic Joint Infection After Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Prospective Double-Blinded Randomized Control Trial

J Arthroplasty. 2024 Jun;39(6):1569-1576. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2024.01.003. Epub 2024 Apr 10.


BACKGROUND: Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a devastating complication. Intrawound vancomycin powder has been shown to reduce infection rates in spine surgery, but its role in arthroplasty remains controversial. This prospective randomized control trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy of intrawound vancomycin in preventing PJI after primary TKA.

METHODS: A total of 1,022 patients were randomized to the study group (n = 507, who received 2 grams intrawound vancomycin powder before arthrotomy closure) or to the control group (n = 515, no local vancomycin) with a minimum follow-up of 12-months. The primary outcome was the incidence of PJI or surgical site infection (SSI). Secondary outcomes included associated minor complications such as stitch abscess, persistent wound drainage, and delayed stitch removal. Other parameters evaluated include reoperation rates and incidences of nephrotoxicity.

RESULTS: The overall infection rate in 1,022 patients was 0.66%. There was no significant difference in PJI rate in the study group (N = 1; 0.2%) versus the control group (N = 3; 0.58%), P = .264. Reoperation rates in the study group (N = 4; 0.78%) and control (N = 5; 0.97%), and SSI rates in the study (N = 1; 0.2%) and control groups (N = 2; 0.38%) were comparable. The Vancomycin cohort, however, demonstrated a significantly higher number of minor wound complications (n = 67; 13.2%) compared to the control group (n = 39; 7.56%, P < .05). Subgroup analysis showed diabetics in the study group to also have a higher incidence of minor wound complications (24 [14.1%] versus 10 [6.2%]; P < 05]. Multivariate analyses found that vancomycin use (odds ratio = 1.64) and smoking (odds ratio = 1.85) were associated with an increased risk of developing minor wound complications. No cases of nephrotoxicity were reported.

CONCLUSIONS: Intrawound vancomycin powder does not appear to reduce PJI/SSI rate in primary total knee arthroplasties, including high-risk groups. Although safe from a renal perspective, intrawound vancomycin was associated with an increase in postoperative aseptic wound complications. Intrawound vancomycin may not be effective in reducing the rate of PJI in primary TKA.

PMID:38749600 | DOI:10.1016/j.arth.2024.01.003

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