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Infection with Incision

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by VK3, May 30, 2010.

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  1. VK3

    VK3 Junior Member

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    I had my knee replacement 6 weeks ago. I had dissolvable stitches and I have been putting vitamin E on my scar. Last week I noticed that a stitch was still there. I just tried to pull it out with my finger nail. It hurt so I just left it. I think it is infected now. It is purple and puffy and the stitch is still there. Any advice. I go back to the surgeon on Thusday. Should I wait or should I go to ER.

    Vicki
     
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  2. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    I would go have someone look at it. The stitch needs to be pulled out. It may have some surface infection that needs attention also. You can go to the ER or to your primary doctor if your surgeon cannot see you on such short notice.
     
  3. morningstar

    morningstar Junior Member

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    :agree: I Second that about getting your knee checked.
    I haven't had KR yet and it is your decision but if the surgeon
    can't see you right away then the primary doctor is possibly next.
    I say possibly because you need to weight out whether it is a good
    idea to go the E.R. and depends on whether it is during the week
    and daytime and whether your knee is hot,has major infection.
    I don't know enough about knees after surgery and I am not a nurse.
    morningstar
     
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  4. morningstar

    morningstar Junior Member

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    Disregard the thanks message from morningstar to self as I hit the wrong button.
     
  5. vac'snewknee

    vac'snewknee Junior Member

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    Hi VK! This must be the weekend for incision problems! I also have a problem with my incision. I called my OS and here's the instructions I got. First, they called in a prescription for an antibiotic (Keflex). I was instructed to keep the area clean (alcohol, not peroxide) and covered with a bandaid. If it gets worse, oozing, redder, swollen, painful, etcetera (it hasn't so far), I am to go to the ER (at the hospital I had my surgery) immediately and ask for the Ortho Resident on call. Regardless, I am to report to my OS first thing Tuesday morning. I'm not a medical professional either (as a disclaimer)-but hopefully we'll both get through this okay!Make a deal with you-let's check in Tuesday and compare notes!
     
  6. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    Anything up to the size of the end of your little finger is really nothing at all to be overly concerned about. Keep it clean, cover with a sterile dressing gauze (not cotton wool) and apply no creams that haven't been prescribed by your OS. Get to see your OS as soon as you can and he'll sort it out. Either remove the extruding stitch and/or put a Steristrip over the gap.

    This is a prime example of what can go wrong if you apply creams and potions before the wound is well and truly healed.
     
  7. VK3

    VK3 Junior Member

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    Hi there;

    Took some good advice and went to the ER yesterday. Yes waited for hours to see the doctor for 5 minutes. It is red/purple and raised, and a little warm. Gave me a scrip for Cephalexin (I think its the same as Keflex as I saw that on the medical sheets that you get letting you know of all the good, bad and ugle.) He said it was infected and to start the antibiotic and I see the surgeon on Thursday. He said to get the surgeon to look at the stitch and decide what to do. So I started it yesterday and we will see what happens on Thursday. I know the antibiotic is working as I can't feel the stitch now. I think it is going back in my knee. Not sure if that is good or not. Maybe it is dissolving also. I will keep you posted.
     
  8. vac'snewknee

    vac'snewknee Junior Member

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    VK: I saw my OS today; he looked at it, said it was the suture. He said it can take 2-4 months for the suture to dissolve (I didn't realize it took that long); and that sometimes, in some patients the body tries to rid itself of "foreign" substances. You get a localized reaction (like my "pimple" that looked like it had burst) as the body "spits it out" (apparently I missed the spitting out, because the suture was gone). The "wound" (it's slightly bigger than a pimple-and is on the incision) is healing and he told me to finish the Keflex and continue covering it with a sterile band-aid until it heals.

    He said it was good that I called (I felt a bit silly after it wasn't a big deal), and he was sorry that he had me come in (it's a 2.5 hour drive-one way) but there was no way he could know that it was not a big deal...until he sees it! I told him I had no problem with coming in, I'd rather err on the side of caution....

    Be persistent about going it, you won't know until they see it (you'll feel better)...You might want to see if they can fit you tomorrow (my OS made "room" for me today).
     
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  9. Josephine

    Josephine Forum Admin and Mother Hen Administrator

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    That's a good outcome for you. And the moral of the story is not to put creams and potions on a new scar.
     
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  10. vac'snewknee

    vac'snewknee Junior Member

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    I do nothing to my knee without consulting the OS or his PA (Physician Assistant)...I'm sure they both think I'm a hypochondriac at this point...but I'm so afraid of goofing up this process and having to start over again that at times I'm paranoid! I started my conversation with the Doctor's secretary Friday by saying," Hi it's me again...and this is probably nothing...BUT..."

    I'm very fortunate, because so far, they have been wonderful about answering all of my questions and concerns. This website is also a godsend...you folks have answered so many of my questions...and kept me from totally very out at times :shk: Thanks all!
     
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  11. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    Thanks for the compliment! That's what we're here for!!! Don't ever hesitate to post a question or concern.
     
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  12. VK3

    VK3 Junior Member

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    I can't get in until Thursday, my surgeon is also 2 hours down the road. I will wait till Thursday and see what he says. I'm glad that you were able to get some relief. I too am a little nervous of anything or everything that is wierd. This is not me to have something wrong with me. I am normally a very healthy active person and do have a very high pain tollerance. I will keep you posted.

    Thanks for all the advice.
    Vicki
     
  13. brs0660

    brs0660 Forum Advisor

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    I agree that we are very sensitive about the possibility of infection, but that is important that we be sensitive about it. I like you had one spot..and as you said it was a stitch sticking out. He pulled it out in one second and it immediately healed.

    Never feel that you are being silly when you are taking care of yourself
     
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