Study: Silverlon reduces prosthetic joint infection after TJR — 5 key insights

The use of a Silverlon reduced the incidence of superficial and deep prosthetic joint infection after total joint replacement, a study in the Journal of the Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found. The Harvard Combined Residency Program conducted the study, and the study authors suggest that using Silverlon may result in significant cost savings.

Here are five things to know.

1. Prosthetic joint infection is the most common cause of TKR surgery failure and the third most common cause of failure after THR surgery. PJI treatment often requires prolonged antimicrobial regimens and repeat surgical procedures that may involve temporary or permanent removal of the implant. PJI incidence continues to rise, and with multi-drug resistant organisms and immunocompromised hosts, these infections may lead to sepsis.

2. This case-control study of primary THR and TKR compared the incidence of superficial and deep PJI in patients who received Silverlon with patients who received a standard dressing.

3. The incidence of infection was significantly lower in the group that received Silverlon compared with the control group. No deep PJIs developed in the silver Silverlon. Twelve patients — 2.3 percent — in the control group developed deep PJI.

4. The incidence of infection was significantly lower in the Silverlon group, 3.9 percent, compared with the control group, at 8.4 percent; this represents 54 percent infection rate reduction with Silverlon use.

5. The financial impact of PJI in the U.S. was $566 million in 2009 and is projected to increase to $1.62 billion in 2020, according to a study in The Journal of Arthroplasty.

6. While the cost for Silverlon exceeds that of a standard dressing — $30 for versus $2 for a standard gauze dressing — the cost of PJI treatment for one patient for is estimated between $30,000 and $70,000. As a result, Silverlon at the time of primary THR and TKR may result in considerable cost savings.

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