Knee Replacement Infection

Knee Replacement Infection- does it happen quite often? What precautions should I take to avoid it? Is it in my hands?

Are you having severe knee replacement pain following surgery?

Although infection is rare- (that is 1-2 for every 100 patients) still it happens.

Will you belong to 98% or 2%? You never know!

Can we prevent it? Well to be honest with you people it is not absolutely preventable as there are many factors which can contribute to it.

This article is not to scare you people but to educate and to prepare you for the worst.

Factors predisposing to infection

Knee Replacement Infection

Knee Replacement Infection can occur due to many reasons but let us see few to understand why it happens:

  • Health
  • Poor nutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • if you are too old
  • dreadful smoking(I hate it)
  • Extreme body weight problems
  • previous medications with steroids

These all factors suppress persons immunity and thus predispose them to knee infection.

Along with that revision surgery, repeated surgical exposure of knee can also cause knee infection.

Majority of surgical infection also occurs due to doctors skill and their surgical technique and expertise.Following correct knee replacement surgical protocol is quite critical in avoiding infection.

Usually knee replacement operation last for 1-2 hour and any longer duration then that could predispose patient to knee replacement infection.

Here it boils down to knee replacement surgeons expertise and their skill.

Infection diagnosis

How would you come to know weather your knee has been infected after knee replacement?

Typical signs:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swelling of the joint
  • Blood test also helps in diagnosing.
  • bone scan
  • indium scan
  • MRI
  • Knee Replacement problems and complications

Treatment

Depending on level and severity of knee infection treatment become complicated.

  • Superficial infections of muscles or soft tissues can be treated by local antibiotics or oral antibiotics.
  • Deeper infections are more serious and complicated and threatening.

In deeper infections, along with antibiotics surgical debridement of knee joint has to be done.

Your knee joint implant also is removed and new implant is fixed after 6-8 weeks.

In rarest cases infection can occur after many years of happy active life.

Why? Most commonly it is due to transmission of bacteria through blood.

It happens mainly after your dental or oral surgery when bacteria enters blood and travels to knee replacement site.

How to avoid it? Talk to your doctor about all your medications and about any other medical history that could predispose you to knee replacement infection.

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