Is There a Role for Extended Postoperative Oral Antibiotics in Primary Total Joint Arthroplasty High-Risk Individuals After Surgery for Periprosthetic Joint Infection?

  • Carlos A. Higuera
    Address correspondence to: Carlos A. Higuera, MD, Cleveland Clinic Florida, 2950 Cleveland Clinic Blvd., Weston, Florida, 33331.
    Levitetz Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, Florida
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Published:December 20, 2021DOI:


      With moderate level of evidence, 76% of delegates (super majority/strong consensus) of the most recent (2018) International Consensus Meeting on orthopedic infections agreed that extended oral antibiotics directed toward initial organisms after reimplantation for 3 months probably reduce the risk of failure due to periprosthetic joint infection. Nevertheless, the use of oral antibiotics becomes increasingly problematic with extended or long-term utilization. The development of antibiotic resistance and side effects are of particular concern, the most common being Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea. Antibiotic stewardship is important when preventing and treating periprosthetic joint infection to hopefully prevent increase of bacterial antibiotic resistance. Two recent studies showed a significant difference in the incidence of surgical site infections after arthroplasty procedures in high-risk patients during short- and long-term follow-up without significant increase of adverse effects. However, another study showed no significant benefit of this practice. This summary discussed the details of those studies suggesting that the use of extended oral antibiotic prophylaxis in high-risk primary and revision hip and knee arthroplasty may reduce infection rates; nonetheless, additional higher level of evidence (level 1) is still needed to validate this practice as its potential adverse effects are not clear.


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