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.

Liked by lynzze

@linjane

I too would agree with this I asked many if the team how mobile I would be after and nobody could tell me. I suppose until they get in there and decide exactly what they need to do they can't answer. I was shocked after at how limited I would be. However you do get used to it and find other ways to do things. It's a day by day thing and just getting through it Be positive and don't expect too much of yourself. I was lucky I was allowed to mobilise using 50% of my weight.

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Hello Hip and Knee Spacer People. I am just doing Catch Up here and do not know how to reply 'globally' rather than individually. Can anyone explain that please?

My heart goes out to those suffering this ordeal, which can be very trying at times.

Saw my Surgeon yesterday followed by bloods and things are going in the right direction. CRP 10.5, should be under 5, and SED down to 36, should be under 30, on last check, 7 December. Anybody got any secrets on getting them within limits? With the holiday season he is not sure when we will get yesterday's results. My next appointment with Surgeon and bloods is 15 January so antibiotics till then at least. That will put me at about three months.

In the meantime, being NWB so immobile, I do get up for 2-3 hours a day and sit in my comfy tub chair during which time I use the leg energiser to pump blood and the peddler with which I do 40 reps backwards as I can't manage forwards. I am so fed up and so far have crocheted 2 afghans and a shawl!!!

In the meantime I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season.

Feliz Natal

REPLY
@izabel

Hello Hip and Knee Spacer People. I am just doing Catch Up here and do not know how to reply 'globally' rather than individually. Can anyone explain that please?

My heart goes out to those suffering this ordeal, which can be very trying at times.

Saw my Surgeon yesterday followed by bloods and things are going in the right direction. CRP 10.5, should be under 5, and SED down to 36, should be under 30, on last check, 7 December. Anybody got any secrets on getting them within limits? With the holiday season he is not sure when we will get yesterday's results. My next appointment with Surgeon and bloods is 15 January so antibiotics till then at least. That will put me at about three months.

In the meantime, being NWB so immobile, I do get up for 2-3 hours a day and sit in my comfy tub chair during which time I use the leg energiser to pump blood and the peddler with which I do 40 reps backwards as I can't manage forwards. I am so fed up and so far have crocheted 2 afghans and a shawl!!!

In the meantime I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season.

Jump to this post

Izabel,
If they haven't already, I would make sure your doctors explain why they selected the antibiotic being used, and the method of delivery. As others have shared in this discussion, doctors will change antibiotic treatment in some cases if circumstances warrant a change.
I will be praying that your CRP and SED rates are within normal range the next time you have a blood draw. Blessings, jbro

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@jbro

Izabel,
If they haven't already, I would make sure your doctors explain why they selected the antibiotic being used, and the method of delivery. As others have shared in this discussion, doctors will change antibiotic treatment in some cases if circumstances warrant a change.
I will be praying that your CRP and SED rates are within normal range the next time you have a blood draw. Blessings, jbro

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Hi jbro. My Surgeon said that Amoxcillin/Clavulanic Acid was the best one to use for E-Coli and I looked it up and it seems to be true. I don't know what the spacer is laced with … but I can ask.

Thank you for your good wishes and the best to you too. In the meantime I wish everyone …

Ano Novo 2012

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@izabel

Hi jbro. My Surgeon said that Amoxcillin/Clavulanic Acid was the best one to use for E-Coli and I looked it up and it seems to be true. I don't know what the spacer is laced with … but I can ask.

Thank you for your good wishes and the best to you too. In the meantime I wish everyone …

Jump to this post

Happy New Year Izobel and everyone else in our select group. Let's hope 2019 will be a good year for all.

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@izabel

Hi jbro. My Surgeon said that Amoxcillin/Clavulanic Acid was the best one to use for E-Coli and I looked it up and it seems to be true. I don't know what the spacer is laced with … but I can ask.

Thank you for your good wishes and the best to you too. In the meantime I wish everyone …

Jump to this post

Isabel,
My infection did not involve E-Coli, so I do not know which antibiotic(s) are best for that. You can be confident your doctor started with the best treatment. In conversations I had with my infectious disease doctor, she said there are certain instances when she will change the antibiotic, or the method of delivery. Your case probably doesn’t require that, but it is OK to ask. I bombarded my surgeon and infectious disease doctors with questions because I thought the stakes were too high (with a MRSA infection) not to be fully informed. To fight MRSA, I was given the option of either Vancomycin or Daptomycin, both via daily infusions for 6 weeks. I chose Daptomycin because it only requires one infusion each day, rather than two. Also, they thought it would be kinder to my kidneys. Since making that choice, I have read that a Vancomycin-resistant MRSA now exists (referred to as VRSA), although not widespread yet. Scary stuff. I am praying for the eradication of harmful microorganisms in all of us. Blessings, and Happy New Year, jbro

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@linjane

Happy New Year Izobel and everyone else in our select group. Let's hope 2019 will be a good year for all.

Jump to this post

Thank you, Linjane. Blessings and Happy New Year to you, jbro

REPLY
@izabel

Hello Hip and Knee Spacer People. I am just doing Catch Up here and do not know how to reply 'globally' rather than individually. Can anyone explain that please?

My heart goes out to those suffering this ordeal, which can be very trying at times.

Saw my Surgeon yesterday followed by bloods and things are going in the right direction. CRP 10.5, should be under 5, and SED down to 36, should be under 30, on last check, 7 December. Anybody got any secrets on getting them within limits? With the holiday season he is not sure when we will get yesterday's results. My next appointment with Surgeon and bloods is 15 January so antibiotics till then at least. That will put me at about three months.

In the meantime, being NWB so immobile, I do get up for 2-3 hours a day and sit in my comfy tub chair during which time I use the leg energiser to pump blood and the peddler with which I do 40 reps backwards as I can't manage forwards. I am so fed up and so far have crocheted 2 afghans and a shawl!!!

In the meantime I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season.

Jump to this post

@izabel hi Isabel. Your response was global. To do an individual response you have to PM (private message) a person.

I’m coming in to this topic late so please excuse my lack of knowledge about previous responses. I will go back and look at them tomorrow.
.
This whole antibiotic spacer is something I am not at all familiar with. I have had two TKRs but both knees h ave done very well, no problems.

This sounds like a very uncomfortable and difficult problem. I hope you get the help you need to not have the problems younare experiencing.
JK

Liked by izabel

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@jbro

Thank you, Linjane. Blessings and Happy New Year to you, jbro

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Happy New Year Jbro. Lin x

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@contentandwell

@izabel hi Isabel. Your response was global. To do an individual response you have to PM (private message) a person.

I’m coming in to this topic late so please excuse my lack of knowledge about previous responses. I will go back and look at them tomorrow.
.
This whole antibiotic spacer is something I am not at all familiar with. I have had two TKRs but both knees h ave done very well, no problems.

This sounds like a very uncomfortable and difficult problem. I hope you get the help you need to not have the problems younare experiencing.
JK

Jump to this post

Hi @jk and thank you for your kind thoughts. This antibiotic spacer lark is not for the faint hearted that is for sure as the whole process takes quite a chunk of time out of your life.

I had a dream last night … and I was walking in it and in my garden, something I have not been able to do for 15 months now. I hope my Surgeon appointment and blood tests on the 15th will give some positive news.

REPLY
@izabel

Hi @jk and thank you for your kind thoughts. This antibiotic spacer lark is not for the faint hearted that is for sure as the whole process takes quite a chunk of time out of your life.

I had a dream last night … and I was walking in it and in my garden, something I have not been able to do for 15 months now. I hope my Surgeon appointment and blood tests on the 15th will give some positive news.

Jump to this post

Good luck Izobel let us know how you get on. I used to dream I would get up and walk on my spacer without my crutches and fall flat on my face! I always woke in a cold sweat over that one. X

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@jbro

Isabel,
My infection did not involve E-Coli, so I do not know which antibiotic(s) are best for that. You can be confident your doctor started with the best treatment. In conversations I had with my infectious disease doctor, she said there are certain instances when she will change the antibiotic, or the method of delivery. Your case probably doesn’t require that, but it is OK to ask. I bombarded my surgeon and infectious disease doctors with questions because I thought the stakes were too high (with a MRSA infection) not to be fully informed. To fight MRSA, I was given the option of either Vancomycin or Daptomycin, both via daily infusions for 6 weeks. I chose Daptomycin because it only requires one infusion each day, rather than two. Also, they thought it would be kinder to my kidneys. Since making that choice, I have read that a Vancomycin-resistant MRSA now exists (referred to as VRSA), although not widespread yet. Scary stuff. I am praying for the eradication of harmful microorganisms in all of us. Blessings, and Happy New Year, jbro

Jump to this post

@jbro. I had the MRSA on March when I had the TKR … well, to be specific the week before as I had contracted it at the previous hospital I transferred from. I was in isolation for 5 days and I don't know what antibiotic I was on but it cleared in that my Surgeon performed the TKR. This current E-Coli infection is in my hip discovered when Surgeon (same one as knee) opened me to do Hip Revision, originally having been done in December 2014 at the hospital where I contracted the MRSA! The current hospital (private) tested me twice during the last episode for MRSA with negative results.

I understand even those in the medical profession do not know how or why some get infections. My Infectious Diseases doctor told me we all have E-Coli in our system (like Herpes) and sometimes it just comes out to play! He said perhaps it saw a foreign body (ie my hip prothesis) and decided to go reside there! Better there than the liver and kidneys which has devastating consequences. Both of my are currently checked regularly.

I know people don't agree using the same Surgeon for knees and hips let alone revisions … but this guy is tops and been with this hospital 18 years and well respected and recommended. My TKR in March has great ROM and is straight and the scar is fading into oblivion. He also takes time with me and he has a wonderful bedside manner. He visited every day in hospital (16 days) even donning hazmat gear, I have never seen a PA and even he calls me at home with results. Could not ask for better.

I am wishing everyone on here to have a good healthy 2019.

REPLY
@linjane

Good luck Izobel let us know how you get on. I used to dream I would get up and walk on my spacer without my crutches and fall flat on my face! I always woke in a cold sweat over that one. X

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Lin, I DO NOT walk on my spacer for fear of falling especially with the LLD of 5cms … but we WILL all get there in time. Beijinhos xx

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@izabel

@jbro. I had the MRSA on March when I had the TKR … well, to be specific the week before as I had contracted it at the previous hospital I transferred from. I was in isolation for 5 days and I don't know what antibiotic I was on but it cleared in that my Surgeon performed the TKR. This current E-Coli infection is in my hip discovered when Surgeon (same one as knee) opened me to do Hip Revision, originally having been done in December 2014 at the hospital where I contracted the MRSA! The current hospital (private) tested me twice during the last episode for MRSA with negative results.

I understand even those in the medical profession do not know how or why some get infections. My Infectious Diseases doctor told me we all have E-Coli in our system (like Herpes) and sometimes it just comes out to play! He said perhaps it saw a foreign body (ie my hip prothesis) and decided to go reside there! Better there than the liver and kidneys which has devastating consequences. Both of my are currently checked regularly.

I know people don't agree using the same Surgeon for knees and hips let alone revisions … but this guy is tops and been with this hospital 18 years and well respected and recommended. My TKR in March has great ROM and is straight and the scar is fading into oblivion. He also takes time with me and he has a wonderful bedside manner. He visited every day in hospital (16 days) even donning hazmat gear, I have never seen a PA and even he calls me at home with results. Could not ask for better.

I am wishing everyone on here to have a good healthy 2019.

Jump to this post

@izabel I can't believe all you have been through. It's frightening to think that those things can happen, but thankfully yours was apparently dealt with well.
Your surgeon sounds great. If I needed a revision I too would go to the same surgeon whom I had for my last TKR. I would not have gone to the same surgeon who did my first TKR. Most knee surgeons around here do not do hips though, and vice versa. Things are so specialized in orthopedics — hand doctors, spine, knee, hip, shoulder. I guess it may be good because then that doctor is definitely well versed in that area, but your doctor really does sound special.
Looking forward to hearing what your surgeon has to say on the 15th, hopefully all good.
JK

Liked by izabel

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@lynzze

@mrfish welcome to connect! This forum will hopefully provide you with some useful information as it did me!
First off my name is Lindsay from Missouri . I have undergone 5 hip replacements and a few antibiotic hip spacers all on my left hip. I have been thru 4 of those due to infection. So I’m kind of an expert when it comes to this subject lol
The hip spacer itself isn’t terrible…its a little bit longer recovery and not as comfortable as an actual replacement however its far better than going without a hip. Mine worked great and did its job along with the iv antibiotics.
So if you don’t mind me asking…how long have they said you might have the spacer?? In my opinion the longer you can keep the spacer and go without infection the better. Obviously I’m not a medical professional…just a professional at getting infected hip replacements lol lol
I wish you all the best and pray for a smooth recovery!
Lindsay

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@lynzze, Hi my name is Neka and I'm currently dealing with an antibiotic spacers and it has been very painful the whole time. Today is my last day of antibiotic treatment I'm just nervous because the doctors were never able to figure out what type of staph infection I was dealing with. Since you've dealt with it what would you suggest about me going forward with getting the hip replacement surgery done after antibiotic treatment

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@mzallen

@lynzze, Hi my name is Neka and I'm currently dealing with an antibiotic spacers and it has been very painful the whole time. Today is my last day of antibiotic treatment I'm just nervous because the doctors were never able to figure out what type of staph infection I was dealing with. Since you've dealt with it what would you suggest about me going forward with getting the hip replacement surgery done after antibiotic treatment

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Hi Neka. Nice talking to you. I should have waited wait 6 weeks and had low CRP and ESR before they proceeded. This indicated that the infection in the tissues surrounding the device were free from infection. I had to wait longer as I couldn't get an operating slot. The surgeon then took swabs at the surgery all of which were still positive for Staph Caprae. (You cannot eradicate the infection on the biofilm of the device once it's there. This will continue to reinfect if not treated). Once the device was out I was given Vancomycin twice a day until the swabs taken during the op came back negative. They didn't! They came back showing another potential staph infection. My microbiologist felt it was a contaminent as it didn't show for 10 days. So I had to have another 6 weeks of oral antibiotics. I feel well for the first time since the initial hip replacement went in and this is what reassures me. The infection had made me very anaemic and had affected my liver and kidneys. The recent blood tests show this is now correcting. There really is nothing you can do but have trust in your surgeon I have to say mine is a brilliant man. I just class myself as unfortunate this has happened to me. I really wish you well please let me know how you are. Lin x

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