Total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is the replacement of damaged bone and tissue with a biocompatible prosthesis. Over 1.4 million TJAs are performed annually in the United States, and each year over 110,000 revision surgeries are required due to implant failure. The leading cause of revision is periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), a bacterial infection at the site of the implant that occurs in roughly 2% of all TJAs. At a cost of over $110,000 per revision, the annual cost of PJI to the United States healthcare system is $4 billion.
Deficits in care
- Most patients don’t realize they have a problem or are unable to distinguish the pain of surgery from infection.
- Infection onset happens in days; by the time symptoms present, it is often too late to treat with antibiotics.
- Current tests require hospital visits and surgery: they are invasive and unreliable, and they don’t detect infection in time to save the implant.