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[KNEE INFECTION] Kurt_H's Knee Infection

LolaBee

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Be sure to ask for a probiotic. Even though I have been off the IV antibiotics 4 weeks, I'm still taking a probiotic. The antibiotics (I was on 3 different ones, although not at the same time) really gave me tummy troubles.

I found the spacer to be extremely painful. It always felt like a scouring pad scraping the inside of my traumatized knee. Also more painful when standing, as being non-weight bearing it seemed to feel as though femur and tibia were not connected and lower leg dangling and pulling on the joint. I've had numerous surgeries, broken bones, ruptured tendon, childbirth, etc but nothing prepared me for the pain I endured for 3 months of the spacer!

My knee had a jerky, clunky feel. Anyone touching my leg when I moved could feel the ratcheting type movement. My husband likened it to a car with a bad ball bearing. :yikes: It reminded me of a jointed, wooden articulating snake toy puzzle. Even my nurses were freaked out by it.

Best wishes for more pain free days.
 
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Kurt_H

Kurt_H

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I endured for 3 months of the spacer!
Hi LolaBee,

Why may I ask did you have the spacer in so long, my surgeon suggested 6 weeks. Is it dependant on clearing the infection?
 

LolaBee

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Yes, my Infectious disease doctor used a longer regimen. My staph was a very nasty one, Caprae. When I first consulted my surgeon, he said I'd be on it 4 months. My ID doctor just smiled when I told him, and said, "Ortho surgeons are always in a hurry to get their power tools out again".

He also told me that there is no standard protocol as far as treatment. Every surgeon has their own treatment regimen and timeline.
 

LolaBee

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Also, I had a bad mild reaction to the Vancomyocin, so I was then put on Daptomyocin. I had as severe reaction to it, and was hospitalized 5 days with Rhabdomyloysis and very nearly died. Then I was put on Ancef. Recovering from the Rhabdo took a very long time, so possibly I was on the antibiotics longer than usual while I recuperated from my hospitalization, before my surgeon scheduled the 2nd stage. ??
 

LolaBee

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Oops! I just realized a typo above. My surgeon said 4 WEEKS, not months.
 
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Kurt_H

Kurt_H

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@LolaBee that is hectic! Sorry about the pain but so glad you got through it!!! I guess I'll have to see with the final infection identication!
 
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Kurt_H

Kurt_H

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Day 4

So day 4 was relatively busy, had doctors come in and out proding and poking. Also went for Xrays for the first time after surgery, was so nice to just get out of the room...

My surgeon told me they have found the infection but now it's a matter of growing it and seeing what strain it is. Depending on that I might even come off the IV antibiotics. According to him the antibiotics I'm on is broad-spectrum but extremely powerful and is used for multi resistant infections as well.

The physio also came by and we decided to do a walk around the ward, which I found fairly easy, with the walker of course. She told me I'm only allowed 10-15% weight bearing but I feel I could do more even full weight bear, considering it's only a spacer. The physio was very impressed, but cautioned I should take it slow. She felt she was not needed at this stage...hmm.

Hemoglobin at 8.9, my physician said I might nee a transfusion, but the surgeon said it's not necessary at this stage. Should I be concerned. I don't know?


Pain level: 0 - 1

Mental state: Optimistic but really homesick.

Sleep : 3 - 4 hours Very intimittent, they have to take blood tests at 3am. Why? No idea. Vitals are also checked late and very early!
 

Izabel

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:wave: Kurt Seems like the visit went relatively well and good that you got to get 'out and about' so to speak. I had a blood transfusion and was surprised it was jus t an IV.

I had my spacer installed on 18 October 2018 and my new hip installed on 12 Match 2019 ... just short of 5 months. I understand you have to be clear of infection for one month prior to 2nd Stage. I had blood tests every two weeks during this time. Perhaps things are different in Europe.:shrug:

The antibiotics are specific to your bacteria but in the meantime you aare on broad spectrum till the culture is identified. During the five months I was on Cefazolina, Ceftazidima, Vancomacima whilst in hospital then Amoxcillin/Clavulanic Acid (for E-Coli Infection for the five months first IV then in tablet form) and Ciprofloxacina for one week after the actual op at home. My veins collapsed so I was put on tablets so I was allowed to go home earlier than planned. I have never heard of IV treatments at home.

Here they leave you in peace from 11-12pm till 6am so don't know why they did things at 3am, system calm/everything settled? :scratch:

Any old how, have a peaceful day and make lists of things you want/need to do when you get home ... but nothing strenuous! :no-fin:

Tchau flowers.jpeg Izzy xx
 

Izabel

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Oh, just thought, to say I eat Greek yogurt every day and take a probiotic capsule ... just to keep those good little things fighting off the baddies in my system. Maybe you could request yogurt in the hospital?

It is ironic as I first broke my femurr picking up yogurt in an Aldi! Also, when I was in Triage waiting for my bed (had to have traction) the Auxilliary came and asked if if I wanted a yogurt to eat!!! :loll:You couldn't make it up! :doh:
 

LolaBee

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Kurt, I was on IV antibiotics 12 weeks, then off 2 weeks before new prosthetic. The reason given to be off is a chance for any infection that might still be in me to grow. After 2 weeks, I had labs that showed not infection. During new prosthetic surgery several tissue samples were harvested and a pathologist examined. They all showed negative and none of the cultures have grown. I was then put back on IV for 4 weeks. My ID doctor first said it would be 6 weeks but my labs looked good, so he stopped the antibiotics. I go back for more labs next week and a follow up with the ID. I'd the lab results are still negative then I will be put on a preventative oral antibiotic, possibly long term.

If labs are positive, I'm not sure what new strategy will be. I'm not willing to try to wrap my head around the possible implications of that. Trying to stay positive and preserve my mental state. :thud:
 
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Kurt_H

Kurt_H

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Thanks all for the information, so much to take in and yet I have so much more question!
 
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Kurt_H

Kurt_H

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Day 5

It's been kinda a low day for me. I have been too much in my head, playing out different scenarios. The doctor's also play their cards very close to their chest, not giving much away and all you want is some reassurance At the end of the day. So my ID doctor said if I'm lucky the bug is not that bad, I could be given the equivalent of IV antibiotics orally at home for 6 weeks then come back for the final surgery. Else if it's a nasty bug will have to stay in hospital for the next 6 weeks. Yikes.

The Antibiotics iV is also making me feel very weak and lethargic, did not feel physically great at all yesterday.

Good news, my bandage and brace came off, not looking too bad from what I can see. See pics.

Pain level: 0 - 1

Mental state: Overthinking and over analysing too much, too much googling as well. Everybodies journey is different. Question would it be okay to do some actual work in hospital or should I stay away from that. At least it will keep me occupied?

Sleep: Not the best 3 - 4 hours
 

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Kurt_H

Kurt_H

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If labs are positive, I'm not sure what new strategy will be. I'm not willing to try to wrap my head around the possible implications of that. Trying to stay positive and preserve my mental state. :thud:
@LolaBee I'm holding thumbs all will be fine!!!
 

LolaBee

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Thanks Kurt.
I, too was constantly overthinking things. My surgeon told me I'd have a rough road ahead, but after that he kept painting a rosy picture of the journey and then kept things close to the vest and not always truthful. :no-fin:
Fortunately my Infectious disease doctor was very open about everything, answered all questions and explained every step of the way.

Stay positive, find things to help keep your mind busy and off the worrying. (Easier said than done!). Keep posting here, too.

Best,
LolaB
 

Celle

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Curing an infection in a joint can be a long process, but the chances of it being successful are extremely good.
 

LolaBee

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Kurt, hope you're doing better, getting rest, and all your questions answered by your medical staff.

Hang in there!

LolaB
 
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Kurt_H

Kurt_H

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Hi all, just an update from my end.

Day 6 and 7

Well quite an eventful past two days, I got my irrigation system out my leg that was feeding antibiotics. The OS mentioned he was happy with my progress, they have found one bug which was quite common to knee infection. He also mentioned that I can change from IV antibiotics to oral tablets, Zyvoxid, the same thing in oral format so why do they do the IV then.

So it would seem like I'm all clear to go home, well no, because my drainage wound is bleeding and doesn't want to stop. Hmm I asked the doc if I need a stitch, he said no. Oh well, let’s see how it goes.

Other than that walked a couple of times round the ward, peeking in at my fellow patients. I found out there's another guy here thats went through the infection bit. I didn’t want to bother the guy just came out of surgery.

In terms of bend looks like I can bend my spacer joint albeit only 20 degrees for now.

All in all quite alot achieved and it only week 1, I can definitely say this is a mini milestone!!! 5 more weeks of joint spacer and oral antibiotics then my next op.

Is it just me or compared to everyone else this is going very quickly or too quick?? I really don't want to go through this again!!!

Pain level : 1 - 2

Mental State : A bit irritable but more positive, getting to know the nurses more and more. Getting into hospital routines, even looking forward to it. OMG I’m becoming institutionalized!!

Sleep : Not too bad, getting much better!!

Anyway that’s my two cents for now, I’ll probably be posting on a weekly basis until my next op or unless something pops up!
Stay well all!!

Kurt
 
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Kurt_H

Kurt_H

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Week 2

Moving forward - Well it’s been 2 weeks now today and so far my progress has been good “touch wood”! My surgeon is happy with the knee and infection seems to be under control, so much so that I had been discharged on Tuesday. I cannot even express how ecstatic I was to get out of hospital after 12 days. The first thing I literally did was grab some cling wrap plastic, covered my entire leg more than sufficiently and took a long shower!!

So I’m currently on some heavy quite expensive oral antibiotics that supposedly will eradicate this bug I have, apparently a skin bacterial infection that had been very difficult to cultivate, a slow grower. Hence the reason I had probably two years on my original TKR.
How I got it, I may never know, all I know now is that I’m going to be a little bit extra careful when it comes to any type skin abrasions, toenails and teeth. (Without getting too paranoid of course). My antibiotics course is for four weeks, with a follow-up with the Surgeon in two weeks time, to check my blood status.

As far as pain goes it’s really 1 - 2, the most thing being uncomfortable is the actual knee spacer which clunks and cracks when I bend or straighten. I am walking with crutches and certainly don’t want to compromise the actual spacer. I’m currently taking pain medication twice daily to manage keep ahead of any potential pain.

Well that’s my update for now,

keep well all and never say quit!

kind regards

Kurt
 

Jockette

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So glad to hear you’re doing well enough to be home!!
 

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