Clinical outcome evaluation of intraosseous vancomycin in total knee arthroplasty

Katharine D. Harper, Bradley S. Lambert, James O'Dowd, Thomas Sullivan, Stephen J. Incavo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Vancomycin is a commonly used prophylactic antibiotic for total joint replacement surgery to protect against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Studies have suggested intraosseous (IO) infusions provide superior local tissue antibiotic concentration compared with intravenous (IV) access in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We reviewed patients receiving IO vancomycin before TKA, comparing complication rates to a matched group receiving IV prophylactic vancomycin. Methods: Retrospective review of TKA patients administered IO vancomycin (500 mg vancomycin in 200 mL normal saline), September 1, 2018 to March 1, 2019, was compared with TKAs performed with prophylactic IV vancomycin, January 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018. Before incision, an IO needle was inserted into the tibial tubercle region, delivering 100 mL of the mixed vancomycin solution. The needle was then removed and inserted into the distal femur, delivering 100 mL of the solution. Evaluation included preoperative and postoperative creatinine values, tourniquet time, and knee-related 30-day and 90-day complications. Data for primary and revision TKA surgery cases were analyzed independently. Results: There were 100 primary and 29 revision TKA cases in the control (IV) arm and 100 primary and 19 revision TKA cases in the intervention (IO) arm, comprising a study group of 248 cases. There were fifteen 30-day complications and eighteen 90-day complications overall. No significant differences in the complication rate or creatinine values were identified between IO and IV groups. Conclusions: IO vancomycin has an adequate safety profile in primary and revision TKA, eliminating the logistical challenge of timely prophylactic antibiotic administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-223
Number of pages4
JournalArthroplasty Today
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • IO vancomycin
  • Intraosseous vancomycin
  • Intravenous vancomycin
  • TKA
  • Total knee arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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