What kind of mobility can I expect with an antibiotic spacer in my hip

Posted by mrfish @mrfish, Nov 3, 2017

About 11 months ago, I had a total (right) hip replacement. No injuries led me to the decision to undergo that, just arthritic pain that had become gradually worse over 20+ years. Several months after the surgery, I developed an infection at the joint but it took a while to get that properly diagnosed. So, in less than two weeks I’ll undergo the first of the two surgeries/stages to elminate the infection and replace the implant. I’ve read that the antibiotic spacer I’ll have for 2-3 months will provide “limited mobility” but I’m struggling with what that really means. I’d apperciate any further information I can get from others who have undergone this same procedure. I expect 2-3 days of hospitalization following the surgery and IV antibiotic infusions several times a day (self-administered).

I’m an (otherwise) healthy 48yo male and I was very happy with how quickly I was able to bounce back from the original hip replacment. I’m sure there will be a week or so of recovery from the surgery itself — but after that am I going to be mostly home-bound for the interim, or is driving myself and working in an office setting (on a limited schedule) a possibility? What other aspects are there to living for a with a hip spacer?

Thank you in advance for your help on this,
Art in Alaska.

@linjane

Brilliant news Izabel. They put me on antibiotics following my 2nd stage as a precaution IV Vancomycin for 8 days and then oral for 6 weeks. As we say in England I've got everything crossed for you. Hope you don't have to wait too long. Lin

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Hi Lin. I actually hope I am kept on them for a while, for good measure! My Surgeon is very conservative, which I prefer to be honest. Where are you now … just enjoying life?

Here we say tudo cruzado … but I am from Buckinghamshire, been here 18 years.

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@izabel

Hi Lin. I actually hope I am kept on them for a while, for good measure! My Surgeon is very conservative, which I prefer to be honest. Where are you now … just enjoying life?

Here we say tudo cruzado … but I am from Buckinghamshire, been here 18 years.

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We are from Wendover in Buckinghamshire! How weird is that. Small world.
I'm ok seeing my consultant next week I feel well but there is always anxiety prior to seeing him. I'm walking well with one stick but can't seem to give this up yet. So Im going for hydrotherapy to see if it can improve it but can get up quite a speed on the walking stick. It's still early days I've only been fully weight bearing for 6 weeks. Think I'm just impatient. Lin x

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@izabel — what great news to hear your numbers have come down to where they should be and that you're trying your best to get some exercise. It's scary how much atrophy can happen in a relatively short time when you're so limited in what you can do. Of course, the surgery for your second stage will knock your mobility back down again, but the recovery will be that much quicker if you can maintain some (albeit reduced) level of strength and range of motion at this point.

You have the right attitude about being patient with this process. I think the longer you can stick with this stage (even though it's no fun at all), the better overall chances you have at success.

All the best,
Art in Alaska.

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@linjane

We are from Wendover in Buckinghamshire! How weird is that. Small world.
I'm ok seeing my consultant next week I feel well but there is always anxiety prior to seeing him. I'm walking well with one stick but can't seem to give this up yet. So Im going for hydrotherapy to see if it can improve it but can get up quite a speed on the walking stick. It's still early days I've only been fully weight bearing for 6 weeks. Think I'm just impatient. Lin x

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@linjane Even stranger, We lived in Upton (between Aylesbury and Thame) and I spent a lot of time at Word's End Nurseries, being a lover of gardening, especially exotics. Which hospital are you using? I will be sending good wishes for a positive outcome for you. Do you now have to have blood tests on a regular basis too?

@mrfish Thank you for your support, Art. It is very much appreciated, especially at this stage of the game. People can't imagine what you are going through unless they have experienced this first hand, and I include medical staff! I am fortunate I have not been in pain … but, then again, when one isn't moving much ….

Izabel xx

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@izabel

@linjane Even stranger, We lived in Upton (between Aylesbury and Thame) and I spent a lot of time at Word's End Nurseries, being a lover of gardening, especially exotics. Which hospital are you using? I will be sending good wishes for a positive outcome for you. Do you now have to have blood tests on a regular basis too?

@mrfish Thank you for your support, Art. It is very much appreciated, especially at this stage of the game. People can't imagine what you are going through unless they have experienced this first hand, and I include medical staff! I am fortunate I have not been in pain … but, then again, when one isn't moving much ….

Izabel xx

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I'm in the coffee shop at the garden centre whilst reading this! Wow. Following my first stage I got a little mobility scooter and could get there using it to meet friends and get out of the house. I can now drive or walk I'm pleasded to say. I'm under SMH and HWG depends what type of surgery you have. Emergencies are at SMH whilst electives at HWG so I have done both. My original surgeries were at the Chiltern though, same consultant. This is so weird I can't beleave it.
My surgeon dosnt tend to do regular bloods but goes on symptoms I am however having them done this time hence the anxiety. I hope they have lovely garden centres in Portugal. Lin x

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@linjane

I'm in the coffee shop at the garden centre whilst reading this! Wow. Following my first stage I got a little mobility scooter and could get there using it to meet friends and get out of the house. I can now drive or walk I'm pleasded to say. I'm under SMH and HWG depends what type of surgery you have. Emergencies are at SMH whilst electives at HWG so I have done both. My original surgeries were at the Chiltern though, same consultant. This is so weird I can't beleave it.
My surgeon dosnt tend to do regular bloods but goes on symptoms I am however having them done this time hence the anxiety. I hope they have lovely garden centres in Portugal. Lin x

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I live in the country and the terrain is not suitable for a mobility scooter … it's almost a nightmare with my husband maneuvering it! I've had a couple of falls outside … and I can't blame drink … shame! So unfortunately I stay on the inside looking out. At least it's good weather here as we don't really have a winter. They now have fabulous GCs here but nothing when we first came so I brought a lot from the UK.

I 1986 I had cancer and my pre-treatments and 10 years aftercare were at SMH and the op at Chiltern, a couple of years after they opened … my room overlooked the golf course. Husband had an op at The Paddocks. I worked for a few years in High Wycombe!

I know about the anxiety … 10 more days to go till my next go around. Let us know how you get on. Izabel xx

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@lturn9

I don't know if doctors would share that number or not. I have a staph infection as well and am taking Keflex. They said Vanco would not be necessary in this case but I may be on Keflex forever. My options are really limited. This is Knee #4 on my left knee and with each replacement the surgeon trims the bones so the prothesis will fit. At the moment my left leg is almost 3" shorter than the other. They tell me one option, if the infection gets worse, (and so far is doesn't seem to be getting better) would be to remove the joint, and replace my good hip with an artificial one, then run a straight rod to my ankle so my leg would never bend. The other choice is amputation. I was improving and was getting close to walking without the walker until I got a DVT near the prosthesis. Since then I have lost more and more feeling in my leg. But JK, you are right to be concerned, and the hospitals seem to go far to minimize the risk but people still get infections. Having to live with a Spacer is a life changing event IMO. I had one for 8 weeks with no load bearing and at 67 my muscles atrophy quickly and are slow to return. I feel as you do about the risk – if I knew then, what I know now, I would never, ever consider getting a joint replacement.

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@lturn9 I hope that you will not have to resort to amputation. Removing the joint does not sound great either, but at least that does give you a chance.
I feel more and more fortunate every day that things worked out as well as they did for me. Please let us know when you decide what your next step will be.
JK

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@mzallen

@linjane
Hi, just a little update went to see my Id doc last week but he wasn't in the office so I had to meet with his colleague and of course my ESR and CRP levels were still elevated, but this doctor said he doesn't like to go by the ESR and CRP. He said it's best to do an aspiration test and see what comes from that so he said he would talk to my ortho surgeon and see what he says. I did find out Monday morning that they will be stopping antibiotic treatments on the 21st of this month. Hope all is going well with you!!

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My two were elevated also but I had my PICC line removed as my ID dr wasn't too concerned. Hip aspiration is tomorrow and hopefully spacer will removed the 8 of March.

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@bbreckenridge

My two were elevated also but I had my PICC line removed as my ID dr wasn't too concerned. Hip aspiration is tomorrow and hopefully spacer will removed the 8 of March.

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@bbreckenridge mine are still elevated as well, but the I'd doctor had my picc line removed as well. My aspiration test is also tomorrow morning, but my surgery hasn't been scheduled yet. The surgeon told me maybe in 2 to 3 months. Good luck tomorrow

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@mzallen

@bbreckenridge mine are still elevated as well, but the I'd doctor had my picc line removed as well. My aspiration test is also tomorrow morning, but my surgery hasn't been scheduled yet. The surgeon told me maybe in 2 to 3 months. Good luck tomorrow

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My aspiration was good yesterday. Sed Rate still increasing. Surgery still planned for March 8. Anxious

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@bbreckenridge

My aspiration was good yesterday. Sed Rate still increasing. Surgery still planned for March 8. Anxious

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@bbreckenridge, my aspiration also went well yesterday. I'm not sure what my sed rate and crp levels are. I will find out on the 27th of this month. Good luck with everything

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@mzallen

@bbreckenridge, my aspiration also went well yesterday. I'm not sure what my sed rate and crp levels are. I will find out on the 27th of this month. Good luck with everything

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To you also

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