Many orthopaedists order cultures of tissue and synovial fluid samples during the reimplantation phase of two-stage exchange arthroplasties. Now, thanks to a retrospective study by Tan et al. in the August 3, 2016 JBJS, surgeons have some guidance on how to interpret the results from such cultures.OB P.pngThe authors reviewed 267 cases of periprosthetic joint infections (186 knees and 81 hips) that were treated with two-stage exchange arthroplasty. Intraoperative tissue samples were obtained at the time of reimplantation, and 33 joints (12.4%) were found to have one or more positive cultures. Of those 33 cases, 15 (45.5%) had a subsequent arthroplasty failure, compared with 49 (20.9%) of the cases that were culture-negative at reimplantation.

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