Post-surgery and recovery experiences following one and two stage revision for Prosthetic Joint Infection: a qualitative study of patients’ experiences

Cecily K Palmer, Rachael J S Gooberman-Hill, Ashley W Blom, Michael R Whitehouse, Andrew J Moore*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Deep prosthetic hip infection is a devastating complication of hip replacement surgery, and treatment often involves multiple revision surgeries with antibiotic chemotherapy to control
the infection. The aim of this study was to explore patients’ experiences of early and longerterm recovery after one-stage or two-stage revision with an excised hip, a temporary cement
spacer or a custom-made articulating spacer. We interviewed 32 participants taking part in a surgical trial at two time points (2–4 months and 18 months) following one- or two-stage revision surgery. The analytic approach was inductive using the constant comparative method to generate themes from the data. Participants’ early recovery after revision was characterised by a long hospital stay with burdensome antibiotics and limited physiotherapy provision. Participants undergoing two-stage revision with an excised hip or a cement spacer described severe mobility restrictions which affected all aspects of their lives, while those undergoing one-stage revision, or two-stage revision with an articulating spacer were more mobile and independent, with some limitations. Participants with a cement spacer also reported more pain than other treatment groups, while those with an articulating spacer appeared to perceive that their recovery was slow. At 18 months, participants in all groups described both improvements and losses in mobility and functional ability. Participants in all treatment groups expressed considerable emotional resilience during recovery from revision, which may be linked to opportunities to talk with the trial personnel. Participants identified the need for better information and psychological and physical support. Experience of recovery differs after one- and two-stage revision, and further in relation to the use of spacers. Mobility, function, independence and pain are important aspects of recovery which affect all aspects of day-to-day life. Increased information and more opportunities to talk and share experiences may provide psychological support during recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0237047
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2020


  • Joint replacement
  • Prosthetic Joint Infection
  • Hip Arthroplasty

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