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Knee Infection* Infection at 7 Months Post Op - Back to Crutches

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Mrs. Ciz

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I met with my surgeon’s PA, who has been involved in everything since the beginning back in July, earlier this morning. He was also at both my surgeries. He said left leg xrays, which they took during recovery yesterday, look great - no signs of infection!!! Whew!!!! And while they were in my right knee they cleaned out all the scar tissue, so I’ll have much better range of motion in that knee now. I told him I already do because it straightens. He explained that they met with the Stryker team (that’s the company that makes the artificial joints and robotic arm that assists with the surgery) to consult on my case earlier this week, so I got the very best temporary cement spacer on the market. That’s how I ended up with the dynamic spacer. I am very grateful for this!!! My husband got a little confused when he heard about the dynamic spacer and thought I didn’t need to go though another knee replacement. But it’s only a temporary cement spacer. I still have to have the real metal/plastic implant put in once the infection is cleared.

The PA also said there was not much pus, so we caught the insidious infection early. They didn’t see anything but inflammation until they took the lower implant out of the tibia bone. That’s where the infection had been hiding. I have some bone loss on the medial front side of tibia, and that’s exactly where the sore spot has been these last few weeks. I’m so relieved there was a reason for all I was feeling in my right leg and that it is getting resolved. I’m not stuck with a bum right knee, and the left knee looks ok.

I’ll know more about the infection later today when I talk to my infectious disease dr. The PT is coming by soon to evaluate me as well. I am also supposed to get the picc line inserted today. I can’t wait to get the iv needle out of my left inside wrist. It is so uncomfortable, and I can’t really use that hand with it in there. So many people in and out of my room! I finally got to eat some breakfast at 9:30. I had been trying to order food since 7:30, but someone in surgeon’s office forgot to put in my dietary order. They won’t let you order food without your doctor’s permission. The bacon and scrambled eggs were yummy!
 

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He explained that they met with the Stryker team (that’s the company that makes the artificial joints and robotic arm that assists with the surgery) to consult on my case earlier this week, so I got the very best temporary cement spacer on the market.
I’m so glad you have such a good medical team that is really looking out for you, that is so important.
I finally got to eat some breakfast at 9:30. I had been trying to order food since 7:30, but someone in surgeon’s office forgot to put in my dietary order. They won’t let you order food without your doctor’s permission. The bacon and scrambled eggs were yummy!
I‘m glad you finally got breakfast! My son was born at 2:30pm, (1984) and obviously I hadn’t eaten all day so I was starved by dinner time. They picked out my dinner for me, since I hadn’t been there earlier to order. I don’t know what the meat was, but I ate the whole dinner, including every Lima bean on the plate, and I don’t even like Lima beans! :rotfl:
 

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Hello @Mrs. Ciz oh my word you have been through the wars! So pleased to hear you have a good team and hopefully finally reaching a way forward. Best wishes.
 

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Whew, one surgery done and you're on the upside of the infection now! I am glad you were able to get that taken care of asap, it's a scary situation. I hope you continue to improve and when ready, have your final tkr and while you're starting that recovery over, I pray it goes swimmingly! Keep us posted as you progress!
 
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Mrs. Ciz

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Just got home from the hospital this afternoon. I start my home IVs tonight - 2 a day, each 2 hours long. Will have a home health nurse twice a week and home PT visits 2 or 3 times a week as well. So far, so good!
 

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Just found your thread Ms. Ciz. You have had quite the ordeal. So glad to hear you are truly on the way to recovery now - both knee and infection! I look forward to hearing about your progress.
 

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I'm happy to hear that the surgery went well and you're now at home. Rest up. Sending you best wishes on this leg of your journey.
 

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@Mrs. Ciz Glad you are home. Now you can get into a route to fight off this nasty infection. We are here for you. Please keep us updated.
 
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I slept really well on Monday night due to my pain meds (Tramadol, Tylenol, Oxy) and my sleep meds (melatonin, Trazodone). But yesterday (Tuesday) I overdid it, and I hurt last night, so I didn’t sleep well. I couldn’t even go 3 hours without taking a second 5mg Oxy. I’m staying off my feet, elevating and icing more today. I’m also trying to do a better job sticking to the pain meds schedule.

Having just one post op knee versus BTKR is sooooooo much easier. I can’t believe it! Having one good strong leg makes everything better - stairs, walking, sleeping, getting up/down from chairs. I’m much more independent this time around. But because of that, it’s super easy to do more than I should (like sweeping the kitchen and master bathroom floors - yes, I stupidly did that yesterday).

My infusions are going well. The Bioscrip Infusion Service nurse taught me how to do the SASH method in the hospital. The only thing is that they didn’t give me caps for the picc line extensions. My hospital nurse was horrified when she saw them dangling capless. She said it’s an infection risk, and she gave me a couple bags of alcohol caps. Today I asked the Home Health nurse, and she agreed that they should be capped. So I’m going to ask Bioscrip for caps in my next delivery. If they won’t provide them, I’ll order some from Amazon. I’m also going to order a picc line sleeve from Amazon. The netting band they gave me does not stay in place. And I’m worried about catching the picc line tubes on things.

Home Health is coming back tomorrow to do blood work and change the picc line bandage. They will be on a Monday/Thursday schedule going forward. I will have in home PT as well, but I haven’t heard from them yet.

In other news, I got my 2nd Pfizer Covid vaccine today. I had to get permission from my Infectious Disease doctor first; he told me to go ahead with it.

More later!
 

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@Mrs. Ciz Wow - you sound super organised. Well done dealing with all this!

Well done on getting that second vaccination. I'm still waiting for mine! :bored:
 
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I’m a middle school teacher, and my school has been face to face since August. My state started vaccinating teachers at the end of January. I hope everyone who wants to get vaccinated will have a chance soon.

I just had my first home PT visit. The point of PT during this transition phase is to keep my muscles strong and limber. I’ll be doing light range of motion exercises to give myself the best possible outcome for my final revision surgery. Right now (1 week post op from the infection clean out and antibiotic spacer placement) I am at 75 for flexion and -22 for extension. Extension has been very badly impacted over the last couple of months by the infection. I’m hoping to improve this before my final revision.
 

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That's great you are now fully vaccinated. Glad you're getting the picc line extension caps sorted out and twice weekly visits from home health and in-home p.t. Good for you being so well-organized. You overdid it but now you know what your limits are.
Good luck with the range of motion exercises; remember to not overdo it with those. Stay healthy; things are looking good for you.:hugzz:
 
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@Jaycey and @liam2015
I can’t take credit for being so organized. My hospital case manager and my health insurance case manager worked together to set everything up. All I had to do was answer my phone when the home health nurse and home PT (both work for the same home care company) and Bioscrip infusion company called to schedule their appointment/delivery times with me. They made it soooo easy for me!!!
 

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That is so good that you have casesmanagers who work together. Great news about the vaccine I am still waiting on mine but my husband gets his second one on Tuesday...he is the high risk person in our family so I am happy he is getting it. Remember no to overdo it and relax a bit. :)
 
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My picc line bandage started coming off today. Despite wrapping it in a paper towel, press and seal wrap and a bath towel, it got damp today when I washed my hair in the sink. From now on someone will have to wash my hair for me so the water doesn’t run down my arm to the picc line.

I called home health and this afternoon they sent a nurse over to change the dressing and clean the picc line insertion site. She also took my vitals while she was here. I have a low grade fever 99.7. I couldn’t get warm yesterday but my temp was normal every time I took it. Then this morning I woke up soaking wet. Fever must have spiked in the night and then broken because it was normal when I woke up.

So now I don’t know if the fever is from the 2nd covid shot I got on March 3rd, or from the surgery, or from the staph infection. She told me to take my temp every couple of hours and call in if it goes up past 100.7.

I’ve been on really strong antibiotics since Feb 25th, so I don’t think the infection is raging out of control.
 

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A low grade temperature is very common after surgery as your body heals @Mrs. Ciz. It is smart to monitor it though.
 

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