Practical Applications of Antibiotic-Loaded Bone Cement for Treatment of Infected Joint Replacements
The use of antibiotic-loaded bone cement is an accepted treatment method for infected joint arthroplasties. It is helpful to separate the use of antibiotic-loaded bone cement as a method of prophylaxis as compared with the treatment of an established infection. A low dose of antibiotic-loaded bone cement (< or = 1 g of antibiotic per batch of cement) should be used for prophylaxis, and high-dose antibiotic-loaded bone cement (> 1 g antibiotic per batch of cement) is indicated for treatment. The only commercially available antibiotic-loaded bone cement products are low dose, with the use of tobramycin or gentamicin as an antibiotic selection. High-dose antibiotic-loaded bone cement requires hand mixing by the surgeon to facilitate the use of high dosages and choices of multiple antibiotics. Treatment of infected hip and knee arthroplasties with high-dose antibiotic-loaded bone cement is aided by the use of spacers of various shapes and sizes. These spacers, whether they are static or articulating (mobile), are meant to provide local delivery of antibiotics, stabilization of soft tissues, facilitation of an easier reimplantation, and improved clinical outcomes.