Hematogenous infection after knee arthroplasty.
Twenty-five hematogenously infected knee arthroplasties in 20 patients (17 with rheumatoid arthritis and 3 with arthrosis) were followed for 3 years. Staphylococcus aureus was the major infecting organism. Three patients with four arthroplasties died of sepsis. Two patients had removal of the arthroplasty, one of which resulted in an above-the-knee amputation. Four out of five arthrodeses fused. Two knees healed after early debridement and two healed without surgery. Ten knees had successful revision arthroplasty. Rheumatoid arthritis and constrained prostheses increase the risk of hematogenous infection. Any infection and especially cutaneous lesions in a patient with a knee arthroplasty should be treated vigorously.