• BACKGROUND
    • Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) of the elbow is a relatively common complication after total elbow arthroplasty (TEA), and its treatment is frequently variable. Few articles have provided direct comparisons of outcomes, making it difficult to draw conclusions from the available literature. This systematic review synthesizes the English-language literature on elbow PJI to quantify treatment outcomes.
  • METHODS
    • The PubMed and Scopus databases were searched in December 2018. Our review was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Keywords included "elbow replacement infection" and "elbow arthroplasty infection." A total of 1056 titles were identified; after application of the exclusion criteria, 41 studies met the screening criteria and underwent full-text review. Fifteen articles were included for the final analysis regarding demographic characteristics, risk factors, infecting organisms, success of eradication of infection based on surgical method, and functional outcomes of specific treatment regimens.
  • RESULTS
    • Among the 15 articles selected, there were 309 TEA infections. Staphylococcus aureus was the most frequently isolated organism (42.4%), followed by coagulase-negative staphylococci (32.6%). Risk factors for the development of elbow PJI included rheumatoid arthritis, steroid use, an immunocompromised state, and previous elbow surgery. The rate of successful infection eradication was highest with 2-stage revision (81.2%) and lowest with irrigation and d√©bridement for component retention (55.8%). The level of evidence was IV in 14 studies and III in 1 study.
  • CONCLUSIONS
    • In this systematic review of TEA infections, Staphylococcus species represent the most common infecting organism. Two-stage revision was the most effective treatment for elbow PJI, showing the lowest recurrence rate for infection.