This paper reports on a prospective observational study that evaluated the frequency of prosthetic infections after total knee arthroplasty. During a six-year observational period, 171 patients underwent knee arthroplasty. Single shot prophylaxis with teicoplanin was administered to all patients. Nine patients (5.3%) had a follow-upof less than four weeks; the remaining 162 had a follow-up of at least 12 weeks. Of these, 155 completed the 24-month observational period. In the end, three patients developed early prosthetic joint infection which produced infection ratyes of 1.85% and 1.93% when the follow-up was >= 12 weeks and >= 24 months, respectively. The mean time from surgery to infection was 54 days (range, 14-87). All three infections were caused by Staphylococcus aureus susceptible to methicillin. Fever, pain, effusion and secretion were present in all cases. In this cohort of patients, no cases of delayed infection were observed. Thorough reporting is the first step in reducing the incidence of post-surgical infective complications and can contribute to more productive prophylactic protocols.
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