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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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How can recurring infections after defective knee replacement surgeries be treated?

Answered by
Dr. Mahaveer Patil

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 1209 Questions

Posted on Fri, 20 Jul 2018 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: Hello, I am a 59yo female. Had left knee replacement 6/2015, revision 2/2016, sent home with severe infection.
Knee gave out in shower 2 weeks later requiring emergency surgery, trauma, was bleeding out. Emergency trauma surgery on 3/14/2016-knee opened up. Stayed in hospital rehab 6 weeks three hrs a day pt and went home with severe pain, swelling and no control over left knee. Surgeon gave me my records telling me he could no longer treat me, too serious. Went to trauma ortho surgeon who did 4th surgery on 6/8/2016. He told me the knee had a defective replacement put me in a full leg cast for three months in rehab. Still w/much body pain. YYYY@YYYY
Answered by Dr. Mahaveer Patil 4 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for posting the question.
I have gone through your medical history in detail.

Considering that you have undergone multiple surgeries on your knee till now,even I agree that the implant must be defective and infected.

These implants are very sensitive to micro-organisms.Once infected,such implants rarely recover completely.

At this stage,you have 2 options.

OPTION 1- Implant removal now,put a spacer inside the knee for 6 - 8 months untill all the infection in the bone subsides.Then at a later stage,put a antibiotic impregnated knee implant.This is called a 2 stage approach requiring 2 surgeries-one for implant removal and the 2nd surgery for re-implantation.

This is quite risky procedure,requires very good surgical skill,failure chances are high,residual pain may still remain.

OPTION-2 - Complete knee fusion.Remove all the implants and fuse the knee joint completely.

This option will eradicate all the infection and pain,but the limb will be shortened by 2-3 inches and there won't be any movements at the knee joint.

In my opinion,OPTION-2 is always a better option considering the risk factors involved as it will offer you a complete permanent solution instead of leading a painful and suffering life with another painful implant inside.

I hope the answer was useful.

Feel free to ask me any follow up queries that you may have.

Thank you.
Kind regards.

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