Intraosseous Regional Administration of Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review

Published:October 21, 2022DOI:



      Intraosseous regional administration (IORA) of antibiotics after tourniquet inflation has recently been introduced as a technique to deliver antibiotics directly to the surgical site among patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA).


      PubMed and Embase were queried for studies reporting on IORA for perioperative prophylaxis during TKA. Primary outcome measures were local tissue antibiotic concentrations and rates of prosthetic joint infection (PJI). Eight studies were included for analysis. Four studies (all randomized controlled trials) compared local tissue concentrations between patients receiving IORA and intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Six studies assessed the rate of PJI among patients receiving IORA versus IV antibiotics.


      All studies found a statistically significant increase in antibiotic concentration in femoral bone and fat samples in patients who were treated with IORA (44.04 μg/g [fat] and 49.3 μg/g [bone] following 500 mg of intraosseous vancomycin) versus IV (3.5 μg/g [fat] and 5.2 μg/g [bone] following 1 g IV of vancomycin). The two studies powered to determine differences in PJI rates found a statistically significant decrease in the rate of PJI among patients receiving IORA versus IV antibiotics. The incidence of PJI in patients treated with IORA and IV antibiotics across all studies was 0.3 and 1.1%, respectively.


      Perioperative IORA of antibiotics in TKA provides local tissue concentrations of antibiotics that are on average 10 times higher than IV administration alone. Although more adequately powered investigations are necessary to determine the effectiveness of IORA in reducing PJI rates, adoption of IORA should be considered in high-risk patients where elevated tissue antibiotic concentrations would be of a maximum benefit.


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