A UK national survey of care pathways and support offered to patients receiving revision surgery for prosthetic joint infection in the highest volume NHS orthopaedic centres

Andrew Moore, Jason Heddington, Michael Whitehouse, TJ Peters, Rachael Gooberman-Hill, Andrew Beswick, Ashley Blom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Around 1% of the 185,000 primary hip and knee arthroplasties performed in the UK are followed by prosthetic joint infection (PJI). Although PJI affects a small percentage of patients, it is one of the most devastating complications associated with this procedure. Treatment usually involves further major surgery which can adversely affect patients' quality of life. Understanding current service provision provides valuable information needed to design and evaluate support interventions for patients. The aim of this survey was to identify usual care pathways and support in UK NHS orthopaedic centres for this population.

The 20 highest volume UK NHS orthopaedic centres for hip and knee arthroplasty account for 33–50% of all cases treated for prosthetic joint infection. Infection leads at each centre were invited to participate in a survey about usual care provision and support for PJI. Questions explored follow up time-points; use of standard outcome measures; multidisciplinary care plans; supportive in-patient care and care after treatment; and onward referrals. Survey responses were recorded on a standardised proforma. Data were entered into Excel for analysis, then reviewed and coded into categories and frequency statistics to describe categorical data. A descriptive summary was developed based on these categories.

Eleven of the highest volume orthopaedic centres completed the survey. Follow-up of patients varied greatly across centres; some centres reviewed patients at weekly or 2 week intervals, while all centres saw patients at 6 weeks. Long-term follow-up varied across centres from 3–4 months to 12 monthly. Length of follow-up period varied from until the infection had cleared to indefinitely. Follow-up time points were only standardised in 4 out of 11 centres. Only 1 centre had a dedicated infection clinic. Advice on who patients should contact if they had concerns included the consultant, community nurse, extended scope practitioner or the ward, while 3 centres told patients to avoid calling their GP. Only half of the centres routinely used standardised outcome measures with patients with PJI. The majority of centres provided standard physiotherapy and occupational therapy (OT) to in-patients while approximately half also offered social support. Only one centre provided dedicated physiotherapy and OT on a separate infection ward. Three centres provided hospital at home or community services to patients in-between operative stages. Only 3 out of 11 centres stated they had specific multidisciplinary care plans in place for patients. Once discharged most patients were provided with physiotherapy, OT and social services if needed. Common barriers to referral included complexities of referring patients outside the hospital catchment area;lack of availability of community services, and shortage of staff including physiotherapists. Delays in rehab and social services could also be problematic.

Findings show wide variation in treatment pathways and support for patients treated for PJI, both as inpatients and in the community. Only one of the 11 centres who participated had a dedicated infection clinic. Only one centre suggested they individualised their physiotherapy support. A number of barriers exist to referring patients on to other support services after revision surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuropean Orthopaedic Research Society (EORS) 24th Annual Meeting, 14–16 September 2016
Subtitle of host publicationPart 2
PublisherBritish Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

Publication series

NameOrthopaedic Proceedings
PublisherBritish Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery
Volume99-B (Supp 2)
ISSN (Print)1358-992X

Bibliographical note

Conference abstract.

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research


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