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rguribe (@rguribe)

Total knee replacement infection after 9 years.

Joint Replacements | Last Active: Jun 18 4:22pm | Replies (31)

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Hello Debbra, regarding my infection, I woke up in the morning and I went to step down from the bed and I almost fell down from the pain. I could not walk on it, it was swollen, so I went to the ER. I had no prior symptoms. They drew some fluid from my knee and it was bloody/puss like, and the tests showed an infection. They did emergency surgery the next day. The doctor said that I was fortunate that I did not wait long to get it checked out because the infection could have spread into my bloodstream.

According to the doctor, they cleaned/scrubbed the infected areA, and then they put antibiotic pellets inside the knee before they stitched it up. Unfortunately, they had to put 41 stitches because it was too swollen for just put glue and tape. I now have a pretty nasty scar. I had to be on Vancomycin antibiotic thru a PICC line for 6 weeks which I administered myself twice a day. I lost 20 pounds because the antibiotic took my appetite away, I could barely eat once a day, nausea, dizziness and it killed my stomach, even thou it was administered intravenously.

After 4 months of physical therapy, I am getting better every day. I have to say that this recovery has taken longer and more painful.
The downside is that I have to be on antibiotics for the rest of my life. Oh well, the alternative could have been worse.

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Replies to "Hello Debbra, regarding my infection, I woke up in the morning and I went to step..."

Oh my gosh @rguribe – my heart is just aching for you. I cannot imagine the trauma you've been through with this. I've been on Connect for awhile now and I can truthfully say that I haven't heard of anyone getting an infection so far out of surgery. You must've been in shock when they told you what it was. I was so glad to hear that you have an appointment at Mayo to discuss the implications of antibiotics for life. Can you ask the doctor point-blank what the possible side affects are and whether there are alternatives? Also, can you keep us posted? You can see that there are many of us who have had TKR's who are closely following your situation and interested in the answers you get.