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BACKGROUND: Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) following unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) is an uncommon, yet serious, complication. There is a paucity of evidence regarding the effectiveness of Debridement-Antibiotics-and-Implant-Retention (DAIR) in this setting. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of DAIR for acute UKR PJI. METHOD: Between 2006 and 2019, 5195 UKR were performed at our institution. Over this period, sixteen patients underwent DAIR for early, acute PJI. All patients met MSIS PJI diagnostic criteria. The median age at DAIR was 67 years (range 40-73) and 12 patients were male (75.0%). The median time to DAIR was 24 days (range 6-60). Patients were followed up for a median of 6.5 years (range1.4-10.5) following DAIR. RESULTS: 0.3% (16/5195) of UKR in our institution had a DAIR within 3 months. 15 of 16 patients (93.8%) were culture positive, with the most common organism MSSA (n = 8, 50.0%). Patients were treated with an organism-specific intravenous antibiotic regime for a median of 6 weeks, followed by oral antibiotics for a median duration of 6 months. The Kaplan-Meier survivor estimate for revision for PJI was 57% (95%CI: 28-78%) at five years, and survivor estimate for all cause revision 52% (95%CI: 25-74%).The median Oxford Knee Score for patients with a viable implant at final follow-up was 45 points (range 39-46). CONCLUSION: Early, acute PJI after UKR is rare. DAIR had a moderate success rate, with infection-free survivorship of 57% at 5 years. Those successfully treated with DAIR had excellent functional outcome and implant survival.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





13 - 20


Debridement, Antibiotics, Implant Retention (DAIR), Management, Patient Outcomes, Periprosthetic Joint Infection (PJI), Unicompartmental Knee Replacement, Humans, Prosthesis-Related Infections, Male, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Debridement, Female, Middle Aged, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Aged, Adult, Knee Prosthesis, Retrospective Studies, Prosthesis Retention, Treatment Outcome