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Staph Infection After Knee Surgery

Treating Infections In Hip Or Knee Replacements

Infected Total Knee Replacement. A dreaded complication. What you need to know.

In the United States, the standard treatment of infection in an artificial joint is a two-stage process:

  • We remove all the existing implants, cleaning out the joint and surrounding soft tissues.
  • We place a temporary artificial joint.
  • We often place this temporary joint with a high-dose antibiotic to deliver antibiotics locally to the surrounding joint tissues.

    Removing the existing joint does have some risks. Each time a joint replacement is revised and/or removed, you lose bone and your tissues are also affected. You can decrease risk by finding an expert surgeon.

    After these types of surgeries, you can often be mobile, but you will have to be careful how much weight you place on the joint. You may only be able to put 50 percent of your weight on the leg/knee/hip for weeks or months afterwards.

    Along with the surgery to treat the infection, we also often use systemic antibiotics. Frequently we use two to six weeks of intravenous antibiotics to target the infection. Patients have a large IV line called a PICC line placed to receive these antibiotics. We check the effects of the antibiotics regularly through labs to monitor the effects of the antibiotics on the body and the bodys response to the treatment.

    Infection And Your Joint Replacement

    An infected hip or knee replacement represents a very important problem for both you and your surgeon.

    An infected hip or knee replacement represents a very important problem for both you and your surgeon. Currently, infection is the most common reason for revision knee replacement surgery and the second most common cause for revision hip replacement . Infections may develop shortly after joint replacement surgery or years later. On average, the risk of developing an infection in the United States from a primary joint replacement is between 1-2% and 4-5% after revision surgery. Certain factors have been identified which increases your chances of infection including length of surgery and your personal medical issues. Research has shown that good control of your chronic medical issues and other risk factors can significantly reduce your risk of infection. If an infection does occur, it is important to act promptly in attempt to salvage your joint replacement and prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of your body. Remember most joint infections CANNOT be adequately treated with simple oral or intravenous antibiotics.

    What are Signs and Symptoms of Infection?

    Occasionally a fluid or blood collection may form under the incision early in the recovery period. These collections represent an environment for an infection to develop. As a result, your surgeon may have to drain or wash-out the area to help prevent or treat a joint infection.

    Antibiotics For Staph Infection

    Antibiotics work by killing bacteria. Since the first antibiotic, penicillin, was discovered in the 1920s, hundreds have become available for use. But even as more antibiotics have been developed, certain disease-causing bacteria have become resistant to commonly used antibiotics, meaning those antibiotics are no longer effective at treating infections caused by those bacteria.

    Staphylococcus aureus, the most common type of staph, is notorious for developing resistance to antibiotics.

    But fortunately for those with staph infections, a number of antibiotics are still effective against it. Some are applied topically to the skin or the insides of the nose, some are taken orally, and some are given as an injection or intravenous infusion.

    Your doctor will choose an antibiotic for you based on the location of your infection, how serious it is, and, sometimes, the type of staph you have. In some situations, you might be given a combination of several different antibiotics.

    Some commonly used antibiotics for staph include :

    Although side effects will depend on the specific medicine you take, antibiotics may cause:

    • Yeast infections, due to disrupting the bodys regular way of keeping yeast in check

    If youre given an oral antibiotic, be sure to follow the instructions on the product label carefully. Some antibiotics should be taken on an empty stomach, but others can be taken with food, which can help reduce any stomach irritation caused by the drug.

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    What Happens If There Is An Infection In A Knee Replacement

    If the infection has been present for an extended period of time, the knee replacement implants may become loose. If there is an infection associated with this surgery, the implants must be removed and the infection treated.

    There are few infections associated with knee replacement surgery. It affects approximately one out of every 100 people who have a knee or hip replacement. If left untreated, a minor infection can lead to a major one. When you treat an infection, you may need to undergo multiple surgeries to prevent your body from working properly. It is normal to experience some pain after knee surgery, but if it worsens over time, this may indicate infection. Your doctor should be able to tell if you have an infection. When there is an infection after total knee replacement, treatment is best determined by the type of infection and the severity of the wound.

    During your knee replacement surgery, the surgeon will take precautions to avoid infection. If you take care of these things before and after the surgery, bacteria will not be able to enter your system. If you are concerned about developing an infection after total knee replacement, consult your doctor.

    Who Treats Staph Infections

    Knee replacement infection: Symptoms and risk factors

    Primary care doctors, such as internists, family medicine physicians, and pediatricians, can treat a mild case of staph. In some cases, your primary care doctor may refer you to a dermatologist for staph infections of the skin.

    If your infection progresses or you develop complications, you might have to see an infectious disease specialist or a surgeon.

    If you experience severe symptoms, such as a red or tender area of skin going numb, a reddened area becoming larger or hard to the touch, worsening pain, or high fever or chills, you should seek emergency medical attention at once.

    Skin infections that occur in or around the eyes should also be treated as an emergency.

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    Other Ways Joints Become Infected

    Following joint replacement surgery, the blood flow to the joint increases for a period of time, as the body is healing. Along with the metal and plastic parts, which have no immune system, this increased blood flow can carry bacteria from the blood stream to the replaced joint. If the bacteria reach the implants, they may stick and create an infected joint.

    Bacteria can be carried by our blood stream because of severe illnesses, such as sepsis. However, more commonly, bacteria may transiently get carried through the blood, and the body clears it without any obvious illness, unless it gets carried to the replaced joint. This is why infections can occur in replaced joints even decades after the surgery.

    If you get a bacterial infection in the body, it is a good idea to see your primary care doctor. Colds, flus, or other viral infections do not require antibiotics. However, if you get a cut that looks worrisome or a redness in the legs or urinary infections or other bacterial infections in the body, your primary care doctor may need to treat these with antibiotics.

    Certain medical procedures can increase the risk of pushing bacteria into the blood stream, such as dental work, abdominal surgery, or colorectal procedures. It is important to take antibiotics prior to these procedures.

    Preventing Knee Replacement Infections

    The foremost priority of knee replacements is to prevent infection from occurring at all. Some of the risks of developing an infection can be managed in a way to help lower the impact of these factors. For example, efforts to improve nutrition, reduce tobacco use, and discontinue medications that may make patients more susceptible to infection can all be done prior to undergoing knee replacement surgery. In the operating room, efforts are made to sterilize the skin and surgical area and minimize people coming in and out of the room. Intravenous antibiotics should be given within 1 hour from the start of surgery to ensure the lowest risk of infection.

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    The Risks Of Knee Replacement Surgery: Periprosthetic Joint Infection

    The cost of knee replacement surgery is frequently an appealing option for those considering it. It is not without risk, however, for those undergoing knee replacement. It is critical to recognize that periprosthetic joint infections are a risk during knee replacement surgery. PJI can be extremely serious and occurs following surgery. Periprosthetic joint infection is one of the most serious complications of total knee arthroplasty . The treatment of a complication of revision arthroplasty with an antibiotic spacer is determined by the type of infection, but two-stage arthroplasty with an antibiotic spacer is widely regarded as the gold standard. Complications following surgery, such as PJI, can be extremely serious. If an infection in the knee replacement joint spreads beyond the skin and tissue surrounding it, it may necessitate surgery. Surgical treatment for this type of joint can be performed with the aid of a debridement. Soft tissue that has become contaminated during the procedure is removed, and the artificial joint is cleaned. If a knee replacement infection is deeper than the skin and tissue around the joint, it is possible that it will require surgery.

    Surgical And Antibiotic Treatment

    How to Avoid “Stiff Knee Syndrome” (after Total Knee Replacement Surgery)

    Surgical treatment involved a DAIR procedure in which an arthrotomy was performed, followed by synovectomy and irrigation with a minimum of 6 liters of fluids. Modular components were exchanged if possible. Multiple deep tissue cultures were obtained for culture. Intravenous antibiotics were started following local protocol and adjusted based on the susceptibility of microbiological cultures. Intravenous antibiotic treatment was switched to an oral regimen after a minimum of 14 days. The 5 European centres did routinely add rifampin to the antibiotic regimen, while the US centre did not. Rifampin was withheld in the European centers if the patient did have contra-indications to receive rifampin or if the staphylococci were rifampin resistant. The dose of rifampin was prescribed according to local protocol , and was used during the total antibiotic treatment duration .

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    Infection Signs And Symptoms

    Implant and incision infections have similar signs and symptoms to other infections. They are also related to the location of the affected joint. Signs and symptoms include:

    • Increasing redness around the incision
    • Increasing pain
    • Pus or other fluid coming from the incision
    • Warmer than usual skin around the incision
    • Increased pain around the incision

    If an infection occurs within the joint, you will likely have increasing pain in the joint as well as some of the above symptoms. Infections in the incision usually occur within a few days of surgery, while the skin is healing. However, joint infections can occur days to years later. It is important to report any increase in pain in your artificial joint, especially any signs of an infection.

    How Does Staph Spread

    After surgery, the most common source of a staph infection is actually bacteria on the patients own body. Most people have bacteria on their bodies without realizing it and it does not usually cause an issue unless it enters your bloodstream. This is why surgeons must properly clean the incision site before and after a surgical procedure. It is also important that medical professionals who treat you give you clear instructions for caring for surgical wounds.

    Staph infection can also spread from person to person. If a nurse or surgeon does not wash their hands or wear gloves before examining your incisions after surgery, they may transfer bacteria into your wound. Infections may also arise due to dirty linen or contaminated surgical equipment. If the healthcare workers in charge of your care did not take reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of staph bacteria and you developed an infection as a result, you should contact a malpractice lawyer immediately.

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    Outcome Rifampin Versus No Rifampin

    Treatment failure as primary outcome parameter was 40.8% in the total cohort. Treatment failure was 32.2% in patients treated with rifampin and 54.2% in patients in whom rifampin was withheld . The most prominent effect of rifampin was observed in knees: treatment failure was 28.6% in the rifampin group versus 63.9% in the no-rifampin group . For hips, treatment failure was 34.6% versus 46.2%, respectively . The same effect was observed for clinical failure . The difference in rifampin effect between both joints could not be explained by a different rate in exchange of mobile components .

    In both the rifampin as the no-rifampin group, most cases failed during antibiotic treatment: the median day of failure after surgical debridement was 17 days in the rifampin group and 14 days in the no-rifampin group . We excluded survival bias, by subanalyzing only those patients who survived the intravenous period and were switched to an oral regimen . Treatment failure w. In addition, we reduced confounding by indication by subanalyzing those patients who were not routinely treated with rifampin in one of the participating hospitals with those patients who received rifampin in the hospitals that do routinely treat with rifampin . Again, treatment failure was still significantly lower in the rifampin group compared to the no-rifampin group .

    Treatment failure and clinical failure rifampin versus no-rifampin according to the type of joint.

    Causes And Risk Factors Of Surgical Site Infections


    Infections after surgery are caused by germs. The most common of these include the bacteria Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Pseudomonas. Germs can infect a surgical wound through various forms of contact, such as from the touch of a contaminated caregiver or surgical instrument, through germs in the air, or through germs that are already on or in your body and then spread into the wound.

    The degree of risk for an SSI is linked to the type of surgical wound you have. Surgical wounds can be classified in this way:

    • Clean wounds. These are not inflamed or contaminated and do not involve operating on an internal organ.

    • Clean-contaminated wounds. These have no evidence of infection at the time of surgery, but do involve operating on an internal organ.

    • Contaminated wounds. These involve operating on an internal organ with a spilling of contents from the organ into the wound.

    • Dirty wounds. These are wounds in which a known infection is present at the time of the surgery.

    These are other risk factors for SSIs:

    • Having surgery that lasts more than 2 hours

    • Having other medical problems or diseases

    • Being an elderly adult

    • Having a weak immune system

    • Having diabetes

    • Having abdominal surgery

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    Surgical Treatment For Skin And Internal Staph Infections

    Surgery may be necessary to empty a wound, abscess, or boil. A doctor will make an incision in the sore to drain it. Sometimes infected fluid is also taken out of an associated infected joint.

    Additionally, some people might need certain devices, such as artificial grafts, pacemakers, heart valves, or prosthetics, surgically removed if they develop a staph infection.

    When To Contact A Medical Professional

    • You cannot bear weight on your knee.
    • You have severe pain, even when not bearing weight.
    • Your knee buckles, clicks, or locks.
    • Your knee is deformed or misshapen.
    • You cannot flex your knee or have trouble straightening it all the way out.
    • You have a fever, redness or warmth around the knee, or a lot of swelling.
    • You have pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or bluish discoloration in the calf below the sore knee.
    • You still have pain after 3 days of home treatment.

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    Knee Pain And Problems

    Knee pain is a common complaint among adults and most often associated with general wear and tear from daily activities like walking, bending, standing and lifting. Athletes who run or play sports that involve jumping or quick pivoting are also more likely to experience knee pain and problems. But whether an individuals knee pain is caused by aging or injury, it can be a nuisance and even debilitating in some circumstances.

    What Does Lcl Tear Feel Like

    Total Knee Replacement Recovery

    The symptoms of an LCL injury are similar to other ligament injuries. You may experience pain and tenderness along the outside of the knee, along with swelling. Some people also describe a feeling of instability in their knee when walking, as if the knee may give out, lock or catch.

    HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE IT band to heal?

    ITB syndrome can take 4 to 8 weeks to completely heal. During this time, focus on healing your entire body. Avoid any other activities that cause pain or discomfort to this area of your body.

    Can a LCL tear heal itself?

    Surgical Treatment LCL tears rarely need surgery, because the ligament usually heals itself. Surgery is typically only needed when other ligaments or structures of the knee are also injured.

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    How Common Is Infection After Knee Surgery

    If you have an artificial knee, also known as a prosthesis or implant, you may develop an infection around it. Deep, major, delayed, or late-onset infections are all terms used by doctors to describe them. Deep infections, in which a blood vessel becomes infected, can occur weeks or even years after your knee replacement surgery.

    stiffness can be reduced by performing a few simple activities. If you are using a knee replacement, first ensure it is working properly. Make sure the implant is properly seated in the bone and the joint is free of strain. If the stiffness occurs only on rare occasions, you should only need to adjust the implant or brace. However, if the pain persists, you may need to consult a physician. Physical therapy is an option for some people. Physical therapy can be beneficial in improving joint range of motion and flexibility. If physical therapy does not work, surgery may be required. It is common for surgeons to perform surgery on the implant, the joint surface, or the joint itself. If you are experiencing stiffness after your knee replacement, you should consult with your doctor. You can address some issues to help you get back to normal as soon as possible.


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