Have You Suffered an Infection after a Joint Replacement?

Joint Replacement Infection in hip

Two of the most commonly performed surgeries are knee and hip replacements, helping to relieve pain and enabling you to lead a much more active life.

One of the risks of any type of surgery is that you may develop an infection afterward. Joint replacement infections can turn into deep wound infections, causing pain and suffering which require surgery to remove the implant. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a joint replacement infection can lead to an early diagnosis.

Joint Replacement Infections

Factors that increase the risk for infection include:

  • Immune deficiencies such as HIV and lymphoma
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Poor circulation to the hands and feet
  • Immunosuppressive treatments such as chemotherapy or corticosteroids
  • Obesity

The signs and symptoms you should watch out for include:

  • Increased pain or stiffness in a previously well-functioning joint
  • Swelling
  • Warmth and redness around the wound
  • Wound drainage
  • Fevers, chills and night sweats
  • Fatigue

Infections are caused by bacteria. Because your joint replacement is made of metal or plastic, your immune system has a hard time attacking bacteria that get to your implant. When bacteria get to an implant, they multiply and cause an infection. Unfortunately, these infections can go beyond superficial and turn into a deep wound infection.

The longer an infection has been present the harder it is to cure without removing the implant and once it becomes a deep wound infection, it almost always requires surgical treatment. Contact your physician should you see any signs.

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