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J Bone Jt Infect. 2017 Mar 20;2(3):127-135. doi: 10.7150/jbji.16429. eCollection 2017.

Treatment Challenges of Prosthetic Hip Infection with Associated Iliacus Muscle Abscess: Report of 5 Cases and Literature Review.

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Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Ave.Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


Prosthetic joint infection is an unfortunate though well-recognized complication of total joint arthroplasty. An iliacus and/or iliopsoas muscle abscess is a rarely documented presentation of hip prosthetic joint infection. It is thought an unrecognized retroperitoneal nidus of infection can be a source of continual seeding of the prosthetic hip joint, prolonging attempts to eradicate infection despite aggressive debridement and explant attempts. The current study presents five cases demonstrating this clinical scenario, and discusses various treatment challenges. In each case we report the patient's clinical history, pertinent imaging, management and outcome. Diagnosis of the iliacus muscle abscess was made using computed tomography imaging. In brief, the mean number of total drainage procedures (open and percutaneous) per patient was 4.2, and outcomes consisted of one patient with a hip girdlestone, two patients with delayed revisions, and two patients with retained prosthesis. All patients ended with functional pain and on oral antibiotic suppression with an average follow up of 18 months. This article highlights an iliacus muscle abscess as an unrecognized source of infection to a prosthetic hip. It demonstrates resilience to standard treatment protocols for prosthetic hip infection, and is associated with poor patient outcomes. Aggressive surgical debridement appears to remain critical to treatment success, and early retroperitoneal debridement of the abscess should be considered.


iliopsoas abscess; prosthetic joint infection.; total hip arthroplasty

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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