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Infection in incision

Discussion in 'Hip Replacement Recovery Area' started by sandi, Sep 11, 2011.

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  1. sandi

    sandi New Member

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    :cry4::hate-shocked:Hi everyone, I am so glad to find this forum. Had hip replacement on 7-18-11. On August 21 I noticed oozing coming from incision. Went to Doc right away. He checked my blood levels and they were slightly elevated. He said this would probably require opening incision back up, irrigating hip joint and incision. Or depending how bad infection is , a cement spacer. No surgery has been done yet. Instead I have been on a high dose of Bactrim DS orally and have to pack wound daily with medicated gauze, The wound is about 2 inches long and half inch deep. I go to the Dr. quite often, he said it has to heal from the bottom up and that I am not out of the woods yet as far as surgery goes. Anyone else out there having simular problems?? About to pull my hair out!!!
     
  2. Renate

    Renate Sr Bonesmartie

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    Hi Sandy, welcome to bonesmart! What a horrible thing for you to go through now. I can't advise you on anything, but I am feeling for you.
     
  3. 1jt@atime

    1jt@atime Forum Advisor

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    Hi Sandy and welcome to BoneSmart.

    I had a similar experience with my first hip in December 2009. At about the one month point, my surgeon had to surgically go in and clean out the incision area. Luckily, mine had not yet made it to the joint itself so didn't have to go through a revision with the cement spacer. I had a lot of antibiotics with both, this hip and the revision that followed a year later. It took me well over 3 months for each of my incisions to heal up. Luckily I didn't have any infections the second go round.

    Watch your incision closely and report any new soreness, fever like feelings, redness or other changes you might incur. I visited my doctor each week, and once it started getting painful around the incision is when he got me in the operating room right away. Luckily that took care of the infection.

    Let us know how it progresses and just ask if you have more questions. :thumb: By the way, my revision was not related to the infection.
     
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  4. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Welcome to BoneSmart! We're glad you found the forum too. We're here to support you in whatever way you need.

    Karen is so right. It's excellent that you caught the signs of infection quickly and that your OS took prompt and assertive action. We have had several BoneSmarties that went through the irrigation process and antibiotics with no revision, so keep hoping that works.

    But....we have also had folks with successful revisions who had the cement spacer (which is impregnated with antibiotics) and their new implant placed with no problems.

    The only thing you need to be absolutely sure of as you go forward is that your surgeon is experienced in this process. This would mean he is used to dealing with infections (maybe even consults with an infections specialist) and that he is used to doing complex revisions. If you don't know the answers to these questions, ask him.
     
  5. 1jt@atime

    1jt@atime Forum Advisor

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    I forgot one more thing! If your incision starts to get smelly, call your surgeon. I know that's not a pleasant thing but mine was really bad.
     
  6. hipmom

    hipmom Senior

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    Hi and welcome to bonesmart! Sorry to hear about the infection but glad you caught it early. Hang in there and i hope it clears up soon for you.
     
  7. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    sandi, welcome to BoneSmart! You have already received some good advice. Please do keep us updated. Fingers crossed the antibotics do their job!
     
  8. The Cappuccino Kid

    The Cappuccino Kid Graduate

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    Hi Sandi, glad you caught this early and fingers crossed the antibiotics do their stuff.
     
  9. sueh

    sueh Junior Member

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    Sandi - Major positive energy coming your way. The experts here will help guide you through this new episode. May the infection quickly heal...
     
  10. sandi

    sandi New Member

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    I thank you all sooo much! I'm sort of in the dumps about this thing but you folks are really helping already. Let me make it clear that this was not surgicaly cleaned out. I have only been packing it and taking antibiotics. It makes me wonder that maybe it should have been irrigated!?
     
  11. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    sandi, so sorry you are feeling down. Has your OS discussed irrigation? Ask him/her about it. I am not a medical expert but I would guess that is the next step if the antibiotics aren't doing the job.

    Hang in there Sandi - just a bit of time to get this sorted!
     
  12. sandi

    sandi New Member

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    Me again, Wanted to see what everyone thinks about this. I just changed the packing on the infected area. When I pulled the old packing out I had a stream of blood run down my leg, that was it and it never happened before. What do you think? Good or bad? :hissyfit:
     
  13. 1jt@atime

    1jt@atime Forum Advisor

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    My incision ran down my leg, sort of like a razor cut that never ended, for the three months. What you really have to watch for is what I described above, especially the smelly part. Since this is new for you, I would suggest that you call your doctor in the morning.
     
  14. kenpokid

    kenpokid New Member

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    What the heck he is playing the waiting game??????
    I had surgery 8/8. my staples came out 2 weeks later. 2 weeks after the incision had re opened and was oozing. That Monday I saw my family doc who did a culture and started me on Keflex. That Wed I saw the Surgeon. on Thursday I was switched to Cipro. Last Tuesday I saw the surgeon for a follow up I was readmitted to the hospital that day. Last Wednesday they opened me back up and took cultures from the incision. I've been in the hospital for the last week on IV antibiotics. tomorrow I'm finally going home. Of course I'll been having IV antibiotics for the next 6 weeks followed by oral antibiotics for 6-8 months. My cultures from the flush came back with 3 different types of bacteria. My antibiotics are being handled by an infectious disease doctor. she is going so aggressive to avoid the possibility of having to pull the implant. She explained it this way, even though the surgeon really flushed the incision, it only takes one organism to get to the metal and 6 weeks later it was colonized and then they have to pull the implant and put the antibiotic spacer in for 8 weeks.
    In my opinion you need to be your own advocate and tell the doctor you do feel that the waiting game is in your best interest as a patient and you want it re opened and flushed so the can get you an the right medications to kill the infection.
    On a side note the surgeon thought he would only need to open 6 inches of my incision. He ended up needing to re open the entire thing.

    Mike
     
  15. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Sandi, has the wound changed at all? Read the post from 1jt@atime again. She points out what you should be checking. If anything has changed call your OS or GP.

    Jo our forum nurse is away for a few days so if you are worried make a call - if only to ease your mind.

    Take care!
     
  16. Phillygirl

    Phillygirl Junior Member

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    Sorry to hear about your infection. Hopefully it is just incisional and not in the joint. Mine opened up spit out pus and sutures, it healed very slowly. I hope they are keeping a close eye on you. Any increased redness, swelling, pain, drainage or fever and I would cal your OS and insist on being seen that day. I hope it mends quickly for you.
     
  17. special lady

    special lady Guest

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    Sani, please call your Doctor... good or bad I'd say your Doc needs to be aware of any changes at all no matter how small. There is no reason at all not to call him or go over to his office. I wouldn't wait, or hesitate to call him or her.
     
  18. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    I have to agree that a call to your doctor is in order, if for no other reason than the change in your wound you described.

    Many times an infection can only involve the surface tissue and that obviously is a good thing. But, careful monitoring is ALWAYS the prudent thing to do. A call would also give you an opportunity to discuss the possibility of a more aggressive approach.
     
  19. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    What ever is your surgeon thinking about, letting you do the pack? Are you a nurse or a doctor? Do you understand about using aseptic technique? Even I wouldn't want to change the pack on my own wound. A very sure way to make any infection worse. You should be having it done by a professional - a trained nurse or doctor. Madness!

    As for the blood, it depends upon the nature of it. If it is pure, real blood then that's not too bad. But if it's in anyway contaminated, thickened, has debris in it, etc., etc., then that's not so good. This is why you need a professional to deal with it. No way I can say without seeing the fluid first hand.

    I sincerely hope that by now you have been back to your doctor and he has been vastly more pro-active in treating this.
     
  20. Vikki

    Vikki Junior Member

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    Sandi, I do hope you have got some help with this by now. How awful for you. I am shocked at your doctor's attitude, doesn't he realise how scared we all are of infection? Best of luck, you are in my thoughts.:thumb:
     
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