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INTRODUCTION: Prosthetic joint infection (PJI) is a destructive complication of knee replacement surgery (KR). In two-stage revision a spacer is required to maintain limb length and alignment and provide a stable limb on which to mobilise. Spacers may be articulating or static with the gold standard spacer yet to be defined. The aims of this scoping review were to summarise the types of static spacer used to treat PJI after KR, their indications for use and early complication rates. METHODS: We conducted a scoping review based on the Joanna Briggs Institute's "JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis" Scoping review reported following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) checklist. MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL were searched from 2005 to 2022 for studies on the use of static spacers for PJI after KR. RESULTS: 41 studies (1230 patients/knees) were identified describing 42 static spacer constructs. Twenty-three (23/42 [54.2%]) incorporated cement augmented with metalwork, while nineteen (19/42, [45.9%]) were made of cement alone. Spacers were most frequently anchored in the diaphysis (22/42, [53.3%]), particularly in the setting of extensive bone loss (mean AORI Type = F3/T3; 11/15 studies 78.3% diaphyseal anchoring). 7.1% (79 of 1117 knees) of static spacers had a complication requiring further surgery prior to planned second stage with the most common complication being infection (86.1%). CONCLUSIONS: This study has summarised the large variety in static spacer constructs used for staged revision KR for PJI. Static spacers were associated with a high risk of complications and further work in this area is required to improve the quality of care in this vulnerable group.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch orthop trauma surg

Publication Date



Bone loss, Non-articulating spacer, Periprosthetic joint infection, Revision knee replacement, Treatment failure, Two-stage revision