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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1990 Feb;72(2):198-212.

Management of infection about total elbow prostheses.

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Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell University Medical College, New York City, N.Y. 10021.


Deep infection was a complication after twelve (7.3 per cent) of 164 primary total elbow replacements. Two additional patients who had an infection about an elbow prosthesis were referred for treatment after total elbow replacement elsewhere. A statistical analysis of all of these primary total elbow arthroplasties, including the two in patients who were referred from outside institutions, identified preoperative factors that placed a patient at significant risk for subsequent infection. The risk factors included a previous operation on the elbow, a previous infection in the region of the elbow, psychiatric illness, class-IV rheumatoid arthritis, drainage from the wound after operation, spontaneous drainage after ten days, and reoperation for any reason. Three modes of treatment were used for patients who had an established infection: d├ębridement and salvage of the implant, resection arthroplasty, and arthrodesis. After early operative d├ębridement and suppression of the infection with long-term antibiotic therapy, three patients were able to retain the prosthesis, with restoration of range of motion and function of the upper extremity. One prosthesis was reimplanted after a six-week course of intravenous administration of antibiotics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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