2021 Chitranjan S. Ranawat award: Intraosseous vancomycin reduces periprosthetic joint infection in primary total knee arthroplasty at 90-day follow-up

K. J. Park, J. Chapleau, T. C. Sullivan, T. A. Clyburn, S. J. Incavo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


AIMS: Infection complicating primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a common reason for revision surgery, hospital readmission, patient morbidity, and mortality. Increasing incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a particular concern. The use of vancomycin as prophylactic agent alone or in combination with cephalosporin has not demonstrated lower periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) rates, partly due to timing and dosing of intravenous (IV) vancomycin administration, which have proven important factors in effectiveness. This is a retrospective review of a consecutive series of primary TKAs examining incidence of PJI, adverse reactions, and complications using IV versus intraosseous (IO) vancomycin at 30-day, 90-day, and one-year follow-up.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 1,060 patients who underwent TKA between May 2016 to July 2020 was performed. There were 572 patients in the IV group and 488 in the IO group, with minimal 30 days of follow-up. Patients were followed up at regularly scheduled intervals (two, six, and 12 weeks). No differences between groups for age, sex, BMI, or baseline comorbidities existed. The IV group received an IV dose of 15 mg/kg vancomycin given over an hour preceding skin incision. The IO group received a 500 mg dose of vancomycin mixed in 150 ml of normal saline, injected into proximal tibia after tourniquet inflation, before skin incision. All patients received an additional dose of first generation cephalosporin. Evaluation included preoperative and postoperative serum creatinine values, tourniquet time, and adverse reactions attributable to vancomycin.

RESULTS: Incidence of PJI with minimum 90-day follow-up was 1.4% (eight knees) in the IV group and 0.22% (one knee) in IO group (p = 0.047). This preliminary report demonstrated an reduction in the incidence of infection in TKA using IO vancomycin combined with a first-generation cephalosporin. While the study suffers from limitations of a retrospective, multi-surgeon investigation, early findings are encouraging.

CONCLUSION: IO delivery of vancomycin after tourniquet inflation is a safe and effective alternative to IV administration, eliminating the logistical challenges of timely dosing. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(6 Supple A):13-17.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-17
Number of pages5
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Issue number6 Supple A
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee
  • Awards and Prizes
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections/microbiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vancomycin/administration & dosage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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