Knee replacement surgery is regarded as the most effective solution that relieves pain and improves function in patients with Osteoarthritis. It gives a fresh breathe of life to the people who have been suffering from the pain the knee pain. But just like all the other major surgeries, there is always this risk of infection.
But the good thing is, serious infections after the Knee Replacement Surgery are rare. Though the possibility of infection is less, it is imperative for patients to know about the reasons and risks so that patient can take steps towards eliminating the possibility altogether.
Types of Infections after Knee Replacement Surgery:
Bacteria are the root cause of infections. Though they are abundant amounts of bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract and even on our skin, they are all kept under control by our immune system. In case foreign bacteria makes it our system, our immune system kills off the bacteria to protect us from possible infections. The incision made during knee replacement surgery sometimes makes it possible for the bacteria to enter the system resulting in infection. This type of infection is called superficial infection, they are minor infections that occur right after the surgery and can be easily treated.
However, the joint replacements that replace the damaged part are made of metal and plastic, it becomes difficult for the body’s immune system to get rid of the bacteria that sneak-in and cause infection at the implants. This type of infection is called Deep Knee infection. They can occur a month or even years after the surgery was performed and it may involve a lot of steps to completely cure it. While superficial infections can be easily cured by your doctor with antibiotics, Deep knee surgery might need surgery in some cases.
How to avoid the onset of infection after Knee Replacement?
Your Doctor will take all the preventive treatments to make sure that the infection goes away. But it is possible to completely prevent the onset of infection, in the first place:
- Infection in any other part of the body is capable of making it to the knee after the surgery. So make sure you get your cavities and other infection prone body parts checked before the surgery.
- Refrain from shaving legs and any other activity that might cause those tiny abrasions or irritations that can increase the risk of infection.
- You must be even more careful after the surgery. Take a prompt care of the cuts or the scraps, clean them and consult with the doctor in case of infection, even for the minor ones.
- Follow the doctor’s advice on how to take care of the surgical incision. Don’t skip on the medicines, especially the antibiotics.
- Oral infections can make it to the joint implant in the knee. So follow a strict dental hygiene after the surgery and do not delay seeing the dentist in case of any infections. Consult your surgeon if you are planning for a dental procedure.
A major surgery and also the most common one, Knee Replacement has relieved the pain of many patients. Agreed that the possibility of infection is less, the chances may increase if the patient is not careful. The above simple tips can help you ward off the onset of the infection. For more information regarding these preventive measures, you can contact Dr. Niraj Vora anytime!