THR Surgical Site Infection

BLouCon

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Hi there,

My 65-year-old SO just had THR on Halloween. He has been doing incredibly well, walking around the house without a cane, and last night commented that he was able to push himself a little to install some shelves without feeling wiped out. The issue is that his surgical scar has some redness and swelling (but no discharge) that has gotten worse over a couple of days. He does not have any fever. I had also noticed that one of the small pinhole wounds also seemed to be infected--it did weep a bit of blood after he showered. It's in a place where his pants probably rub it, so I though it was likely from that.

However, I am completely FREAKING OUT. We have had a stretch of things not quite going our way this Fall, and I am really worried that this is the start of a serious infection. He sent pictures to his surgeon, and has an appointment for tomorrow a.m. I don't understand why they won't see him today. In the hospital the staff talked about how this surgeon had no infections, but now here we are.

Has anyone else had an infection of the wound and recovered well? How common is this--I have read it is uncommon? Are we headed into a scary situation?

Thanks for any advice. We are located in the Boston area.
 

Layla

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Hello and Welcome to BoneSmart. I am sorry its under circumstances that are causing you great anxiety.

Please take a deep calming breath and try not to project. It could be something as simple as a stitch spitting.
So try to hold that thought until you hear otherwise. Sometimes instead of a suture dissolving the body will push it out and it's called spitting a stitch. It may feel like a tiny bump, can be a little red and the top may open and produce a little discharge looking like pus. Sometimes you can even see the stitch which resembles fishing line. Seeing the doctor tomorrow over today won't make any difference aside from the agony of it weighing on your nerves. If the surgeon or his care team viewed photos and don't feel any urgency in seeing him today, I'd try to take some consolation in that.
Has anyone else had an infection of the wound and recovered well?
Yes, people have and they do recover.

I will leave our Recovery Guidelines since your SO is only a little over three weeks post op.
Please let us know what you hear tomorrow. Best Wishes.


HIP RECOVERY GUIDELINES

As you begin healing, please keep in mind that each recovery is unique. While the BoneSmart philosophy successfully works for many, there will be exceptions. Between the recommendations found here, your surgeon's recovery protocol and any physical therapy you may engage in, the key is to find what works best for you.

1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary.

2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

The recovery articles
Pain management and the pain chart
Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of THR recovery
Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
Energy drain for THRs
Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
 
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BLouCon

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Thank you for taking the time to respond Layla. I really appreciate it. My SO does not take things regarding infection and cleanliness nearly as seriously as I do, so there is a bit of a disconnect there (always has been). I was just glad he actually contacted his doctor.

It is really hard to find information/picture about what is within the normal range of wound healing. But from my persepective, it does look like cellulitis. We did not really get any information about wound care after they removed the bandage other than "don't scrub the wound." He has showered a couple of times, but has not paid much attention to it other than that.

I'll post here about how it goes--perhaps it will help someone else. I did not see other wound infection posts other than more serious infections.

Thanks again.
 
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BLouCon

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I just noticed the post your hip scar thread, and his is definitely not as happy looking as most of the ones I am seeing in that thread.

I would love to hear from someone who successfully resolved a wound infection with antibiotics. I am just overwhelmed with anxiety.
 

Jaycey

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@BLouCon Most of our members that had infection issues are off living life again and not posting regularly. Our dear friend @Izabel successfully dealt with infection. Here's a link to her thread.

If you click on the red Hip Infection prefix you will get a list of all the Hip Infection threads.
 
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BLouCon

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To follow up, my SO saw the PA who said that there was no infection. The PA also asked another provider to look at it as well, so this was two opinions. He also sent pictures to the surgeon who is away for Thanksgiving, as a backup. The site is red, which can be normal, but not warm. It seemed warm when I looked at it Monday night, but apparently that must have been in the range of normal. My SO had also been very active that evening, so that may have added to it being warm. Still no discharge, so that's good.

Somehow I need to figure out how to calm down and not be so anxious. I am anticipating catastrophe, and it's not helping anyone--let alone me! But that is how our October went--nothing went well, plus my MIL/SO's mother passed away, unexpectedly for us. It has really triggered me!

Sorry to go on. I appreciate the comments. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!
 

Jaycey

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Somehow I need to figure out how to calm down and not be so anxious.
Just keep coming here for input. You have been through having to support your other half post op and then the sudden death of a relative. Tough issues to handle - especially all at once. Sounds like you might have a bit of PTSD - not uncommon after all that has happened.

Be good to yourself. Take some "me time". And try to find some peaceful space.

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
 

Layla

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Great news! I am happy to read this, thanks for coming back to update us.
I am sorry you're experiencing the anxiety that you are, also for the loss of your SO's mom. It sounds like you had a rough October and you're still feeling unsettled in November. More than anything, I wish you peace of mind and an uneventful holiday season, one you're able to enjoy without worries.
Sending a warm hug and best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
@BLouCon
 

Abbylayla

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No infection is great news and an excellent start for a Happy Thanksgiving! I wish you calm and peace on Thanksgiving. Enjoy your day!
 

Izabel

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Hi there.

I am pleased to hear your SO does not have infection. I successfully recovered from having it. I took antibiotic tablets for five months till I tested clear.

I would just like to say I think your SO was a bit ambitious doing anything so soon after his operation. He needs to take things easy and let healing take its course.

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving and my best wishes to you both.
 

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