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Knee Infection Risk

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by approach53, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. approach53

    approach53 new member
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    I am scheduled to have TKR in July, 2019 but am now having second thoughts. Since 2012, I have had 3 staph infections treated with oral antibiotics. I am not afraid of the pain of recovery but am terrified that I am at higher risk for an infection and I am thinking I will be at risk the rest of my life. Is anyone out there in a similar position or have any comments. From what I read, getting a knee infection is a very messy and highly problematic situation. Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2019
  2. luvcats

    luvcats senior

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    It's not a knee, but I had a hernia repair last December and developed a really severe abscess. I'm a little concerned about infection because I'm a higher risk because of my weight, but my surgeon is informed and it seems reasonable to me that there will be additional prophylactic antibiotics for those of us at higher risk.

    It's definitely something to talk to your surgeon about, but can you live the rest of your life without replacement?
     
  3. approach53

    approach53 new member
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    Thanks for you reply-much appreciated.

    I have lived with bad knee for almost 10 yrs. when 1st knee replacement recommendation was made and am age 72 now. Just worry about another staph infection that may enter bloodstream and infect implant. Will I always be looking over my shoulder for this and I know this will crank up my blood pressure. As I get closer to TKR, I worry more about this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2019
  4. Tmgrl3

    Tmgrl3 junior member

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    If one gets staphylococcus infections, post op treats them. There are so many kinds of staphylococcus infections now too. My hospital tests patients in pre op testing with nasal swabs since many of us carry MRSA If one tests positive they give patient a five day nasal swab decolonization for the nose to use each day which protects patient from themselves. Make sure you go to a hospital that has a joint replacement / ortho unit only. Our hospital was one of first certified and post op infection rates are 0 %. Then after just treat any infections early. I have a hip replacement from ten years ago and twelve weeks ago did Bi-Lateral total knee replacements. Quality of life decision. Comes a time when you might want it and no longer an option. I am 76 years old and driving and walking again without a cane

    Btw. I didn’t test positive so didn’t need nasal swabs pre op.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2019
  5. approach53

    approach53 new member
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    Thanks for the information....my hospital and surgeon are fine...I worry about my history of getting staph infections in the coming years...so is the knee replacement worth the worry???
     
  6. lovetocookandsew

    lovetocookandsew FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I'm going to tag our forum admin, @Josephine , as she is better qualified to address your concerns.
     
  7. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Definitely discuss this and be guided by the experts. No reputable surgeon would take a risk of post op infection lightly.
    However, if your OS and personal doctor are satisfied that you have no increased risk you can be confident.

    A post op infection after TKR is a terrible thing to happen but its also very unlikely (surgical teams are guided by stringent criteria and professional practices).

    After suffering with your poor old knees for so long you will be amazed at how successful and wonderful this surgery is. You will soon forget these concerns as you move forward. Best wishes for a speedy recovery xx
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2019
  8. approach53

    approach53 new member
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    Thank you for information and support.

    My real concern is not immediately after surgery and during recovery period. Since i have had 3 staph infections since 2012 , there is a strong probability I may encounter another infection. If this is so, I may be at higher risk for implant to become infected e.g, from a staph infection I incurred 5 yrs. from now. I know if an infection occurs, it is a very messy situation.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2019
  9. KarriB

    KarriB FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Are you under the care of an infectious disease Dr right now? I experienced a staph infection in my knee 4 weeks after TKR surgery and have been under the care of an infectious disease Dr ever since. I still take a low dose of doxycycline daily. She has said to let her know when I’m having my left knee replaced because there is a protocol to follow before and after. Of course nothing is guaranteed, but it gives me a sense of relief knowing my ID is on top of the situation.
     
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  10. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 senior

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    I'm not sure we're well suited to addressing your concerns, as it sounds like you've possibly already talked yourself out of the knee replacement (??). Until you know the relief a TKR gives, there's no way to convince you how your quality of life will improve. Even with infection, there are no promises, as everyone's body and immune system is different.

    Only you know the risk you're willing to take. Personally. my husband had MRSA 4 yrs ago, and my 12 yr old son had cellulitis last March. We were told once he has it, he's more likely to get it easily again. Both my husband and son catch everything, and we just know to stay proactive/cautious. My point is infection is everywhere. I didn't feel I had a choice anymore-- my bad right knee was causing damage to my left ankle because of my altered gait. Thus, NOT doing the TKR was causing more damage to my body right now than a possible risk of infection later. I also have a higher incidence of scarring/adhesions in this knee due to other health complications.... but again, I was losing mobility by the month.

    So once again, only YOU can decide what risk you're willing to take. If you want to avoid fear of infection, then mobility may be what you continue to sacrifice.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2019
  11. approach53

    approach53 new member
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    Thank you for this information.
     
  12. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Of course it is. How can you possibly weigh this against the certainty of spending the rest of your life in dreadful pain!

    But bacterial infection is not something you have in your body all the time. It's not a tendency to ailments. Each time you had the infection, it was treated and got rid of. It does not mean you are doomed to get this all the time, it just means that three times you were unlucky enough to get such an infection. And a bacteria don't hang around waiting to jump out and scare you! So what you mean when you say you are 'at risk' of infection, you really mean you got it 2-3 times.

    During your pre-op you will have swabs taken of your mouth, nose and perineal to make sure you're not harboring any nasties there (and not just staph!) and blood tests to do likewise. You'll also be required to wash all over (including hair) and take mouthwashes to decontaminate yourself.

    However, much of this prophylactic wash is to protect the hospital and the patients in there. But it will protect you as well. So fear not, my petal! It's about 98% probable that you will be perfectly okay!
     
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