Concurrent Hardware Removal is Associated With Increased Odds of Infection Following Conversion Total Knee Arthroplasty

Published:October 25, 2022DOI:



      The optimal timing of removal of periarticular implants prior to conversion total knee arthroplasty (TKA) remains to be determined. The purpose of this study was to compare infection rates in conversion TKA when hardware removal was performed in either a staged or concurrent manner.


      We performed a retrospective study using a national insurance claims database of patients who underwent removal of hardware on the same day or within 1 year before their TKA. A total of 16,099 patients met the criteria. After matching, both final cohorts consisted of 4,502 patients. The 90-day and 1-year rates of prosthetic joint infection were calculated.


      The rates of infection were 1.64% and 3.00% in the staged group and 2.62% and 3.95% in the concurrent group at 90 days and 1 year postoperatively, respectively (P = .001, P = .01). Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that patients who had hardware removal greater than 3 months prior to TKA had significantly lower odds of infection at 1-year postop (Odds Ratio 0.61 95% Confidence Interval 0.45-0.84; P = .003).


      Removal of hardware performed concurrently or within 3 months of a TKA is associated with increased odds of prosthetic joint infection at 1 year postoperatively. Surgeons should consider removing periarticular hardware prior to TKA when possible.


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