In cases of total hip arthroplasty (THA) dislocation, a synovial fluid aspiration is often performed to evaluate for periprosthetic joint infection (PJI). It is currently unclear how aseptic dislocation of a THA influences synovial fluid white blood cell (WBC) count and polymorphonuclear percentage (PMN%). The primary aim of this study is to investigate the influence of THA dislocation on synovial WBC count and PMN%.
Twenty-eight patients who underwent a synovial aspiration of a THA between 2014 and 2019 were identified and enrolled in our case-control study. Patients with an aseptic THA dislocation and synovial hip aspiration were matched against patients without dislocation, patients undergoing hip aspiration before aseptic THA revision surgery, and patients undergoing hip aspiration before septic THA revision surgery.
Synovial WBC count was significantly increased in the dislocation vs aseptic THA revision group (P = .015), as well as between the septic revision group vs dislocation and aseptic THA revision group (both P < .001). The PMN% did not differ significantly between the dislocation and aseptic revision groups (P = .294). Mean C-reactive protein values were 12.4 ± 14.9 mg/dL in THA dislocation, 24.1 ± 37.7 mg/dL in THA without infection compared to 85.7 ± 84.9 mg/dL in THA infection group (P < .001).
This study shows that THA dislocation has a significant impact on synovial WBC count in joint aspiration. Our data suggest that in the setting of THA dislocation, synovial WBC and PMN% may not be the best method to evaluate for PJI. Further research should be performed to establish new thresholds for these synovial inflammatory markers in the setting of THA dislocation and PJI.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:
Level III; retrospective trial.