Patient-related medical risk factors for periprosthetic joint infection of the hip and knee

Aleeson Eka, Antonia F. Chen


Despite advancements and improvements in methods for preventing infection, periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) is a significant complication following total joint arthroplasty (TJA). Prevention is the most important strategy to deal with this disabling complication, and prevention should begin with identifying patient-related risk factors. Medical risk factors, such as morbid obesity, malnutrition, hyperglycemia, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), preoperative anemia, cardiovascular disorders, chronic renal failure, smoking, alcohol abuse and depression, should be evaluated and optimized prior to surgery. Treating patients to get laboratory values under a specified threshold or cessation of certain modifiable risk factors can decrease the risk of PJI. Although significant advances have been made in past decades to identify these risk factors, there remains some uncertainty regarding the risk factors predisposing TJA patients to PJI. Through a review of the current literature, this paper aims to comprehensively evaluate and provide a better understanding of known medical risk factors for PJI after TJA.