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BACKGROUND: While two-stage revision arthroplasty is viewed as the gold standard for the treatment of knee periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) in terms of infection eradication, it is associated with significant cost along with patient morbidity and mortality. Debridement, antibiotics, and implant retention (DAIR) is an attractive option as it has demonstrated better patient outcomes, comparable implant longevity to primary arthroplasty, and significantly reduced cost when successful. Given the heterogeneity of what is defined as a DAIR the literature is highly variable in terms of its efficacy from the perspective of infection eradication. METHODS: In the setting of a previously well-functioning, well-fixed arthroplasty with an acceptable soft tissue envelope and a treatable organism we report our methods for proceeding with a DAIR procedure, both unicompartmental and total knee. RESULTS: With the above methods we have demonstrated improved patient outcomes when compared to one- or two-stage arthroplasty with lower patient morbidity. Implant longevity in the setting of a successful DAIR is equivalent to those of a primary arthroplasty. CONCLUSIONS: With appropriate indications and good surgical technique as described we believe DAIR is an excellent option in the treatment of periprosthetic joint infection. We hope that with a well-defined protocol as outlined we can gain a better understanding of the efficacy of DAIR procedure with more homogeneity to the procedure to better define when they are most successful while improving patient outcomes and reducing cost.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2013 - 2015


DAIR, Debridement, antibiotics, and implant retention, Knee arthroplasty, Periprosthetic joint infection, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Debridement, Humans, Knee Joint, Prosthesis-Related Infections, Retrospective Studies, Treatment Outcome