Antibiotic-Laden Bone Cement Use and Revision Risk After Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty in U.S. Veterans

Ilya Bendich, Ning Zhang, Jeffrey J. Barry, Derek T. Ward, Mary A. Whooley, Alfred C. Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: It is controversial whether the use of antibiotic-laden bone cement (ALBC) in primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) affects periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) or revision rates. The impact of ALBC on outcomes of primary TKA have not been previously investigated in U.S. veterans, to our knowledge. The purposes of this study were to quantify utilization of ALBC among U.S. veterans undergoing primary TKA and to determine if ALBC usage is associated with differences in revision TKA rates. METHODS: Patients who had TKA with cement from 2007 to 2015 at U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hospitals with at least 2 years of follow-up were retrospectively identified. Patients who received high-viscosity Palacos bone cement with or without gentamicin were selected as the final study cohort. Patient demographic and comorbidity data were collected. Revision TKA was the primary outcome. All-cause revisions and revisions for PJI were identified from both VHA and non-VHA hospitals. Unadjusted and adjusted regression analyses were performed to identify variables that were associated with increased revision rates. RESULTS: The study included 15,972 patients who had primary TKA with Palacos bone cement at VHA hospitals from 2007 to 2015. Plain bone cement was used for 4,741 patients and ALBC was used for 11,231 patients. Utilization of ALBC increased from 50.6% in 2007 to 69.4% in 2015. At a mean follow-up of 5 years, TKAs with ALBC had a lower all-cause revision rate than those with plain bone cement (5.3% versus 6.7%; p = 0.0009) and a lower rate of revision for PJI (1.9% versus 2.6%; p = 0.005). On multivariable regression, ALBC use was associated with a lower risk of all-cause revision compared with plain bone cement (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.79, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.68 to 0.92; p = 0.0019). Seventy-one primary TKAs needed to be implanted with ALBC to avoid 1 revision TKA. CONCLUSIONS: The utilization of ALBC for primary TKAs performed at VHA hospitals has increased over time and was associated with a lower all-cause revision rate and a lower rate of revision for PJI. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1939-1947
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 18 2020


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