Researchers, surgeons and patients from around the UK had joined together to design and deliver the INFORM research programme. Since 2014, they had been investigating why some patients develop infections after their hip or knee replacement surgery, and which type of surgical revision treatment is best.

Over 161,000 primary hip or knee replacements were undertaken in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2012. About 1 person in 100 develops a bacterial infection at their new, artificial (prosthetic) joint. Prosthetic joint infection is described as “devastating” and “associated with unbearable suffering.”  If untreated, these infections can result in severe pain, persistent dislocation and death.

The research was funded by a programme grant from the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research, Programme for Applied Research).  The programme was coordinated by the University of Bristol’s Musculoskeletal Research Unit, based at Southmead Hospital, Bristol.


Following the successful 6-year INFORM programme, researchers, orthopaedic surgeons, GPs, rehabilitation specialists, commissioners and patients from around the UK have worked together using expert consensus methods to develop best practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of prosthetic hip infection. These guidelines are now being implemented into practice in a follow on study - INFORM EP: Evidence into Practice.

Research Collaborators

Research Sites

  • North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  • Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust, Oxford
  • Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District NHS Trust, Oswestry
  • Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham
  • Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore/London
  • University Hospital Coventry
  • Luton and Dunstable University Hospital
  • Northampton General Hospital
  • University Hospital Southampton
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Research Projects

  1. Literature Review:  To assess the existing knowledge about the causes of prosthetic joint infections and the effectiveness of different treatments
  2. Analysis of Joint Registry Data: Predictors of prosthetic joint infection and outcomes across different units and surgeons
  3. Qualitative Study: Understanding the treatment of infection after joint replacement, through interviews with patients and surgeons
  4. Randomised Controlled Trial: Multicentre trial in over 100 patients with prosthetic hip joint infection, to compare patient centred outcomes after 1- and 2-stage surgical revision
  5. Economic Evaluation:  To assess the value for money of treatments
  6. Patient Choice Experiment: Exploring the individuals’ preference for the two surgical treatments
A team photo of a group of people smiling for the camera.

For further information please contact the INFORM EP mailbox:

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