The gold standard for treating chronic periprosthetic joint infection is still considered to be double-stage exchange revision. The purpose of this review is to analyse the difference in terms of eradication rates and functional outcome after single- and double-stage prosthetic exchange for chronic periprosthetic joint infection around the knee.We reviewed full text articles written in English from 1992 to 2018 reporting the success rates and functional outcomes of either single-stage exchange or double-stage exchange for knee arthroplasty revision performed for chronic infection. In the case of double-stage exchange, particular attention was paid to the type of spacer: articulating or static.In all, 32 articles were analysed: 14 articles for single-stage including 687 patients and 18 articles for double-stage including 1086 patients. The average eradication rate was 87.1% for the one-stage procedure and 84.8% for the two-stage procedure. The functional outcomes were similar in both groups: the average Knee Society Knee Score was 80.0 in the single-stage exchange group and 77.8 in the double-stage exchange. The average range of motion was 91.4° in the single-stage exchange group and 97.8° in the double-stage exchange group.Single-stage exchange appears to be a viable alternative to two -stage exchange in cases of chronic periprosthetic joint infection around the knee, provided there are no contra-indications, producing similar results in terms of eradication rates and functional outcomes, and offering the advantage of a unique surgical procedure, lower morbidity and reduced costs. Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2019;4:495-502. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.4.190003.