Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Value of digital telethermography for the diagnosis of septic knee prosthesis: a prospective cohort study

Carlo Luca Romanò1*, Roberto D’Anchise2, Marco Calamita1, Giovanni Manzi1, Delia Romanò1 and Valerio Sansone3

Author Affiliations

1 Dipartimento di Chirurgia Ricostruttiva e delle Infezioni Osteo-articolari, Istituto Ortopedico I.R.C.C.S, Galeazzi - Via Riccardo Galeazzi, 4 - Milano, 20166, Italy

2 Dipartimento di Chirurgia del Ginocchio, Istituto Ortopedico I.R.C.C.S, Galeazzi - Via Riccardo Galeazzi, 4 - Milano, 20166, Italy

3 Istituto Ortopedico I.R.C.C.S, Clinica Ortopedica, Galeazzi - Via Riccardo Galeazzi, 4 - Milano, 20166, Italy

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:7  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-7

Published: 4 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Diagnosis of peri-prosthetic infection remains challenging, often requiring a combination of different tests.

Methods

In this prospective, case–control study, the diagnostic accuracy of telethermography was evaluated in a group of seventy patients who had had a total knee replacement and were undergoing a reoperation because of infection or another implant-related problem, after a minimum of one year from implant.

Results

An average differential temperature of the affected versus not affected knee of 1.9°C was observed in infected prosthesis, compared to 0.3°C in aseptic failures. Considering a normal reference value equal or less than 1.0°C, telethermography showed an accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of, respectively: 0.90, 0.89, 0.91, 0.91, 0.88.

Conclusions

Digital telethermography is a reliable option for diagnosing peri-prosthetic knee infection.

Keywords:
Knee; Total knee replacement; TKR; Infection; Thermography; Diagnosis