Diagnosis and Management of Periprosthetic Elbow Infection

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Abstract

➤ Periprosthetic elbow infections rarely involve systemic symptoms such as fever or malaise.

➤ Unlike tests for periprosthetic hip and knee infections, the diagnostic utility of blood testing and joint aspiration for periprosthetic elbow infection has not been demonstrated to date.

➤ Intraoperative histological analysis has good specificity (93.1%) but very low sensitivity (51.3%) for periprosthetic elbow infection.

➤ Emerging diagnostic options such as implant sonication, molecular analysis, and advanced synovial fluid cytokine and protein analysis may reduce diagnostic uncertainty in the future.

➤ Recommended surgical treatment options for an infection at the site of an elbow arthroplasty include implant retention and debridement, two-stage revision with or without techniques for restoration of bone stock and triceps continuity, and resection arthroplasty.

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