Shoulder Infection* Reverse Shoulder Replacement Infection


new member
Feb 26, 2022
United States United States
Hi everyone, wanted to share my experience that I've been going through and maybe help future shoulder surgery candidates.
Last April 2021 I had reverse shoulder surgery after 2 other rotator cuff and biceps tendon surgeries over the past several years.
I was recovering nicely with the help of my PT guy and dedicated home exercises daily. At 5/6 months was at about 80% and ROM was 170 degrees. Pain was minimal and only increased after a few hours of yard work. Around ~9 mos. I noticed a dime size red spot on my incision. This continued to expand to cover the entire incision about 4 inches in diameter. In Feb 2022 went to surgeon. He was "quite concerned" and put me on Cephalexin antibiotics and ordered an aspiration to draw samples from joint. 2 weeks passed then aspiration was done and cultures were started. At day 7 and 10 no growth. Dr. advised to stay on antibiotics until last 30 day test growth results. On day 21 I was informed I tested positive for Cutibacterium Acnes (c-acnes) formerly P-Acnes. Surgeon called and operation scheduled next day!!May 11- Found joint had a biofilm of infection and decided to debride, irrigated with antibiotic fluid and replace the humeral polyethylene insert and spacer plate. He inserted antibiotic beads of vancomycin and gentamycin and followed with 2 days of vancomycin IV,s while in hospital. A PICC line was installed and sent home with 6 weeks of daily injections of 2grams of ceftriaxone.
April 1-At 3 weeks went to infectious disease dr. and so far so good. He explained this is rare but happens in mostly males and is a very difficult bacteria to eradicate. Some take 2 years or more. Some need further revision surgeries to have all parts replaced!
Found out some shoulder surgeons use vancomycin powder at first shoulder replacement then install the antibiotic beads as a precaution but insurances fight them.$$$$$ Please talk to your shoulder replacement surgeon about the preventative measures they will take and educate yourself on this slow but very dangerous bacteria that we all have in our bodies.
I’m so sorry you’ve been through a joint infection. I’ve changed your prefix to show this.

We have had members with other joint replacements recover well after an infection, and I surely hope that will happen for you.

Please talk to your shoulder replacement surgeon about the preventative measures they will take
This is excellent advice!
Hi @crazytrex and welcome to BoneSmart.
Sounds like you’ve really been through the ringer with your shoulder. I am so sorry and can’t imagine how frustrated/worried you must be!
The advice you’ve given is a very important step.
Wishing you a successful treatment where you find yourself infection free sooner then later.
So glad they figured out what infection you had and was able to treat it. Hope you continue to heal and are doing better. Thanks for the heads up,I will be getting antibiotics before and after my replacement. Take care.

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