Periprosthetic Joint Infection

Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) is an infection that occurs in the tissue surrounding a joint replacement implant. It can be caused by bacteria that enter the body during or after surgery and can lead to pain, swelling, and other symptoms.

PJI is a serious condition that requires prompt treatment to avoid further complications, such as implant failure or joint damage.

What Causes Periprosthetic Joint Infection?

Periprosthetic joint infection can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Bacterial Infection: Bacteria can enter the body during surgery or through the bloodstream, leading to an infection in the tissue surrounding the joint replacement implant.

Poor Surgical Technique: Poor surgical technique during the joint replacement procedure can increase the risk of PJI.

Pre Existing Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, can increase the risk of developing PJI.

Immunodeficiency: A weakened immune system can make it harder for the body to fight off infection, increasing the risk of PJI.

What are the Symptoms of Periprosthetic Joint Infection?

The symptoms of periprosthetic joint infection can vary depending on the severity of the infection, but may include:

  • Pain around the joint replacement implant is one of the most common symptoms of PJI.
  • Swelling and inflammation around the joint can also occur.
  • A fever may develop as the body tries to fight off the infection.
  • The joint may become stiff or difficult to move due to the infection.
  • In severe cases, pus or other fluids may drain from the infected area.

How is Periprosthetic Joint Infection Diagnosed?

Periprosthetic joint infection is typically diagnosed through a combination of physical examination and diagnostic testing, including:

  • Blood Tests
  • Imaging Tests
  • Joint Fluid Analysis
  • Biopsy

What are the Treatment Options for Periprosthetic Joint infections?

The treatment options for periprosthetic joint infection may vary depending on the severity of the infection, but may include:

  • Antibiotics are typically the first line of treatment for PJI and may be given orally or through an IV.
  • In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the infected tissue or implant and replace it with a new one.
  • During surgery, the joint may be irrigated with a sterile solution to remove bacteria and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Prophylactic antibiotics may be given before surgery to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Proper wound care is essential to preventing infection and promoting healing after surgery.


Periprosthetic joint infection is a serious complication that can occur after joint replacement surgery. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including bacterial infection, poor surgical technique, and pre existing medical conditions.
Symptoms may include pain, swelling, fever, limited mobility, and drainage. Treatment options may include antibiotics, surgery, intraoperative irrigation, prophylactic antibiotics, and wound care.