J Wound Manag Res.  2020 Jun;16(2):102-105. 10.22467/jwmr.2020.01109.

Treatment of Prosthetic Joint Infection and Reconstruction of a Massive Shoulder Defect after Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dong-A University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea


Prosthetic joint infection is a rare but serious complication of total shoulder replacement. After infection control, shoulder reconstruction is also required to repair the shoulder defect. The shoulder is a complex structure consisting of mechanical soft tissue and the joint, making reconstruction challenging. A 78-year-old female patient was diagnosed of wound necrosis and exposed prosthesis due to prosthetic joint infection after reverse total shoulder replacement. The infection was controlled with appropriate antibiotic treatment, and the necrotic tissue was removed by radical debridement. To reduce the size of the massive shoulder defect and minimize exposure of the prosthesis, negativepressure wound therapy (NPWT) was administered for 8 weeks and shoulder reconstruction was performed using a pedicled latissimus dorsi (LD) flap and split-thickness skin graft. The patient recovered without any complications, and no reinfection of the surgical site or other complications were observed during follow-up visits. This report demonstrates that antibiotic treatment, radical debridement of necrotic tissue, NPWT, and shoulder reconstruction using a pedicled LD flap can be an effective method of treatment for prosthetic joint infection with exposed prosthesis, tissue necrosis, and massive shoulder defect.


Shoulder; Superficial back muscles; Negative-pressure wound therapy
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