Prosthetic joint infection: why does it occur?

Infection of prosthetic joints can occur acutely or chronically. In each case, the symptoms are different, so it is important to know how to identify them. We explain it to you.

Prosthetic joint infection is also known as ‘periprosthetic infection’. This is a complication that compromises both the joint replacement area and the adjacent tissues.

Arthroplasty is the medical name for this procedure. According to information from the Clínica Universidad de Navarra, in Spain around 30,000 interventions of this type are carried out per year. It is a safe procedure that, in most cases, produces a notable improvement in the patient’s quality of life.

Why can prosthetic joint infection occur?

Infection of prosthetic joints can be caused by different types of bacteria. As we have pointed out, these adhere to the prosthesis and form a biofilm. For this, they are organized in layers, one on top of the other. This explains why those found in the deeper layers are more resistant to antibiotics.

Associated symptoms

The symptoms of prosthetic joint infection vary depending on whether they are acute or chronic. It is important to note that more or less half of the cases are chronic. Therefore, one of the predominant symptoms is inflammatory pain.