Orthopedic infections affect the bones (osteomyelitis) and joints (septic arthritis). Sometimes these infections occur spontaneously, but often they occur as a complication of surgery, particularly joint replacement surgeries.
Every year, approximately 800,000 knee and hip operations are performed in the United States, and that number is likely to increase as the population ages. According to research published in "The New England Journal of Medicine" in 2009, two percent of these procedures involve postoperative infection.
Another four percent of these patients will suffer an infection at the site of the prosthetic joint within the 10 years following surgery. Fifteen percent of all hip revisions and 25 percent of all knee revisions are caused by infections that affect the prosthetic site. Revision surgery is typically costlier, more complicated, and less successful than the original joint replacement.
Osteomyelitis and septic arthritis symptoms can include tenderness and pain in the area around the affected bone or joint, redness, swelling and other deformities, and changes in the range of motion. If the infection has persisted for some time, you may feel chronically fatigued.
Osteomyelitis may require debridement of the bone, which is a complex surgical
procedure. A variety of interventions can be used to deliver antibiotics to the site of the infection, and once that is complete, you will be put on oral or intravenous antibiotics for at least another six weeks.
Septic arthritis also calls for large doses of antibiotics delivered both topically and systemically. Pus and excess fluid will need to be aspirated from the joint regularly until the antibiotics kick in, and the joint stops producing a discharge.
Bone grafts may be needed to build up bones that can no longer bear weight. In cases where the infection was secondary to a hip or knee replacement, revision surgery may be necessary.
ORTHOPEDIC INFECTION RISK FACTORS
Chronic diseases like diabetes that affect blood circulation to bones can increase the likelihood of orthopedic infections as can trauma to the soft tissues around the affected bone or joint. Smoking is a big risk factor because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, and narrower arteries mean less efficient blood perfusion. Certain prosthetic joint models are also associated with higher rates of infection.
WHY CHOOSE APEX PHYSICIANS TO TREAT OSTEOMYELITIS
Apex Physicians Infectious Disease (ID) Specialists have extensive experience treating and managing bone infections. Antibiotic treatments are constantly evolving, and Apex Physicians works hard to offer you the most up-to-date and effective treatment options to treat complex infections, like osteomyelitis, because of his innovative techniques and extensive experience.
Certain patients are at much greater risk for developing bone infections. Immunocompromised patients and those with diabetes need to be highly aware of bone infections because they develop infections more easily than other populations. If you belong to these risk groups and have any infectious symptoms, contact Apex Physicians immediately.
INFECTIONS DUE TO HIP AND KNEE REPLACEMENTS
We know joint replacement infections well at Apex Physicians. There is a one to five percent risk of infection for all prosthetic placements. Larger joints, such as the hips and knees, are at particular risk. Infections are generally an early part of the recovery process but sometimes develop later after the joint is mostly healed.
Our ID Specialists are sympathetic to the challenges of joint replacement. We will work with you, your other doctors, and the latest in antibiotic treatment options to do everything possible to prevent further surgery.
Infections can cause rapid cartilage deterioration that will often aggravate other conditions. Because cartilage is often already affected in joint replacement surgeries, it is even more important to be aware of the possibility of infection after joint surgery.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR SPINAL INFECTIONS?
Treatments of spinal infections vary. Some infections are so severe that surgery is the only option, but our goal at Apex Physicians is to provide treatment options that mitigate the need for surgery.
We understand the surgery is a cause for concern, especially in older adults. Using the most advanced combinations of antibiotics and working with your needs, our Specialists provide you with a level of care that, we believe, is unmatched by other antibiotic experts in Arizona.
Combining our efforts with local spine surgeons, we can help to mitigate the risks traditionally associated with a spinal infection. Our ID Specialists will exhaust every option available for spinal infection treatment.
Your recovery process should be easy, and Apex Physicians will work hard to help provide that sense of ease and comfort.