Knee Infection* This is a long shot!!!!


new member
Aug 4, 2018
United States United States
I have had hip and knee replacement surgery with basically no problems until last year. I was curious to see if anyone has heard of or experienced anything close to what I have encountered in the last 15 months.

In May of 2017 I had a revision on my left knee that was totally replaced in 2006. A week before my revision I started taking Harvoni to cure my Hepatitis C that I acquired in the early 70's from several blood transfusions. Everything was fine for about 3 months and then I started developing swelling and pain. In Oct. 2017 the TKR was removed and a spacer was put in and also a PICC line where I got 2 bags of antibiotics to fight infection. The strange thing was that no one could identify any infection with all the blood work that was done.

On Dec 26, 2017 the spacer was removed and a TKR installed. For 3 months everything was great and then it all started again. For a 2nd opinion my doctor sent me to Tulane Medical Center and once again, no one can find any infection.

A 3D bone scan of the knee came back abnormal and am waiting for a full body scan that the doctor at Tulane Medical has ordered. I was informed that this latest total knee was going to have to come out.

My orthopedic surgeon is questioning whether or not the Harvoni taken for my Hep C could have anything to do with my body rejecting my knee replacement surgery. My doctor enquired about the Harvoni prior to my surgery last year and was assured it didn't suppress the immune system at all.

This is the 1st letter I have written in regards to my situation but felt I have to start somewhere. Any suggestions?
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@bjbordes, so pleased that you have joined us here on the forum. As you can see, I have moved your thread from the pre op forum into the recovery forum where it rightly belongs.

You certainly have an unusual situation, and I sincerely hope that the doctors at Tulane can find a reason for what is happening with your knee.

I am tagging @Josephine, our forum admin nurse director. She may have some insight into your problem.

Take care and keep us posted, WE CARE!
@bjbordes ,
Did they ever determine the pathogen infecting your knee? If not you should ask about genetic testing to determine the pathogen.

Recommend you seek another second opinion for your next surgery, from a surgeon specializing in Infections/Revisions, they have the education and background to determine what is happening with troubled knees. Look for a surgeon specializing in complex joint reconstruction or revisions. They should have no relationship with your present OS, not even golf buddies.
What a sorry tale! I feel for you. However, the story is so lacking in detail that I am unable to offer much in the way of suggestions. Sorry.
I agree with Chris's suggestion about working with an infection specialist. Was one involved in all that has transpired since your revision? Harvoni has only been on the market since October, 2014, and it's possible that not all interactions or side effects are known from the clinical trials. So your surgeon may have a point in questioning that the drug contributed to whatever is going on with your knee. Did you complete the entire Harvoni course of medication?

This is a case we've not seen before here on BoneSmart so we'll be interested in hearing more from you as you work with doctors to get some answers.
Sep. 2006 I had my 1st knee replacement done. It was a Striker Triathlon. They told me I could expect about 15 years from the Striker. May 2, 2017 that knee was replaced. The surgery went good and I had no problems until August. August was also when I started taking Harvoni for Hep C. In Oct. I finished the Harvoni and also had my total knee replacement removed. They installed a "spacer block" with antibiotics and started a pic line that I would receive 2 bags of antibiotics a day . I did that for 8 weeks. On Dec. 26, 2017 they removed the spacer block and installed a new total knee. All was good for 3-4 months and then it all started again. Pain, swelling and heat. Through all this they have never found an infection. I was told that this knee will have to come out. I told the doctors that its not coming out unless they can tell me what is causing my body to reject these implants. I've had my hips, other knee and shoulder done in the past without any problems. My doctor questioned the Harvoni because he and several other doctors are stumped. I thought that maybe I could find out if anyone else might have experienced anything similar to what I am going thru with the rejection and the Harvoni.

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