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[TKR] Post op infection risk

skiwizz

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I'm 2 weeks post op from TKR (22 Oct 16) and making excellent progress. Staples out 02 Nov 16. I had left TKR, back in 2013 so to some extent know the ropes about recovery etc.

My question is this - for how long after surgery could one be at risk from picking up MRSA? My very elderly mother in law is hospitalised (300 miles away) and we have just found out she has now contracted MRSA. My husband has not visited her since before my operation. I know he is desperate to see her. Can anyone offer advice?


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Debbie_joints

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I tested positive for MRSA for all three of my joint replacements and two basal thumb arthroplasties. I was treated with some nose ointment before the surgeries plus a body wash. This latest knee replacement they tested me again the morning of surgery and it was negative. If it would have been positive they would still have done the surgery, but isolated me from other patients. We had group therapy at our hospital. Also the nurses and doctors would have had to gown up before coming in. Not sure why I am a carrier.
 

Josephine

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You mean for you getting contaminated with MRSA from your mother? Actually there is very little risk as otherwise, the staff in the hospital would be going down like nine-pins!

You should just be more careful regarding washing your hands and not having bodily contact with her during your visit. That's the principle thing. However, if you are really nervous, then wait in the car while your husband visits her or even don't go.

But anyone can pick up any contamination at any time if they're not careful and being careful means washing your hands properly after exposure (or potential exposure) rather than just a rinse under the tap. I've got just the graphic for you here!

Hand-washing-instructions.png


However, since I suspect your question is rather more aimed at how much at risk are we from the point of view of PPI (per-prosthetic infection) I should also say that we are, in fact, never at zero risk. But it is rare - extremely rare - and the stats are in the 0.25% range in the UK. It's like worrying if we'll get knocked down by a bus if we go out. Why worry about something that will probably never happen! I know this isn't a definitive "you'll be fine" answer but I hope it helps some!
 

Josephine

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Not sure why I am a carrier.
Because about 50-60% of the population are! MRSA isn't a mystery. The letters actually stand for Methyl (or multi) Resistant Staphylococcus Areus. Staph is a normal commensal in our bodies, specifically in the mouth, nose and perineal areas, or either end of the digestive tract! But Methyl Resistant Staph is more dangerous for obvious reasons. Since we all always have staph on board, the chances of it being MRSA are obviously real.
 

Debbie_joints

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@Josephine, they told me in the hospital that they find more positive MRSA with people that have a dairy farm, which we do. At least it hasn't caused me any problems besides doing the protocol before surgery.
 

BBCG

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Thanks for the chart, Josephine.. hadn't seen that one before but will print it out for staff at our store, and others. My daughter has an autoimmune issue so she's hyper-sensitive about teaching my granddaughter proper hand washing technique! This is really helpful!
 

tigz

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Because about 50-60% of the population are! MRSA isn't a mystery. The letters actually stand for Methyl (or multi) Resistant Staphylococcus Areus. Staph is a normal commensal in our bodies, specifically in the mouth, nose and perineal areas, or either end of the digestive tract! But Methyl Resistant Staph is more dangerous for obvious reasons. Since we all always have staph on board, the chances of it being MRSA are obviously real.
In the US the M in MRSA stands for Methicillin... an antibiotic in the penicillin class that isn't used anymore. It was the first 'cillin found to be resistant to this particular strain of Staph aureus, hence the name, but there are multiple other 'cillins and other drugs that are also ineffectual in treatment.

Here's a good link from the CDC
https://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/healthcare/patient/index.html

Best means of prevention? Hand washing, hand washing, hand washing (did I say hand washing?)
 
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skiwizz

skiwizz

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Thank you all for the great information! I did mean the risk of germs being brought back home again to me. My mum got a Staph infection post operatively years ago and suffered with a badly deformed knee joint and pain for years :-/. So much to consider.


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