Infections after surgery are more common than many people realize. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that within 30 days, as many as 3 out of 100 surgical patients will develop an infection. In most cases, these infections occur at the site of the surgical incision and respond well to antibiotics.
But when pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria affect the site of an orthopedic procedure such as a joint replacement, the results can be devastating. In these cases, a specialist like Dr. Lartchenko and the Center for Surgical and Orthopedic Infectious Disease at Texas Infectious Disease Institute are often called in.
Orthopedic infections are infections that can affect the bones (osteomyelitis) and joints (septic arthritis). Sometimes these infections occur spontaneously, but more often, they are a complication of surgery, particularly joint replacement surgeries like knee and hip replacement.
Symptoms of these kinds of infections can include tenderness and pain in the area of the affected bone or joint, redness, swelling and changes in range of motion. If the infection has persisted for a period of time, patients may also feel chronically tired.
The most common microorganisms found in post-surgical infections are the bacteria Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Pseudomonas, as well as MRSA and other gram-negative bacteria like e-coli. Infection can be introduced in various ways, including airborne transmission, contamination from other parts of a patient’s own body and lapses in sterile technique.
Chronic diseases like diabetes that affect blood circulation to bones can increase the likelihood of orthopedic infections as well as trauma to the soft tissues around the affected bone or joint. Smoking is a significant risk factor as well, and certain types of prosthetic joints are also associated with higher rates of infection.
If you have had joint replacement surgery, it is important to seek medical attention if you notice any of the signs of infection. If colonized at the site of your joint replacement, bacteria could cause an infection to develop that will require the expertise of an infectious disease specialist who has the training and experience to know which antibiotics and dosages will have the best chance of eradicating the infection. In some cases, surgical intervention may even be required. But even in these more extreme cases, because of the experience Dr. Lartchenko has with treating these types of infections, he is able to prevent the need to remove or exchange the hardware from joint replacement surgery.
Dr. Lartchenko has more than a decade of experience effectively treating orthopedic and surgery-related infections, including those due to spinal instrumentation. At The Center for Surgical and Orthopedic Infectious Disease, he partners with many area orthopedic, vascular, plastic and spine surgeons to care for patients experiencing bone, joint, prosthetic and spinal infections after orthopedic surgery.
With comprehensive diagnostic tests and services available in one convenient location, including an onsite infusion suite, Dr. Lartchenko and his team can diagnose, treat and provide long-term management for your condition.
Our mix of expert diagnosis, intravenous treatments and antibiotic combination therapy make TIDI a premier choice for treatment of complicated infections. Many doctors and surgeons in the Dallas-Fort Worth area refer their patients to our Center for Surgical and Orthopedic Infectious Disease because they know we can help.
You’re in good hands at Texas Infectious Disease Institute. Dr. Lartchenko was recognized for the third year in a row as a “Best Doctor in Dallas” by D Magazine as a premier choice for infectious disease treatment in Dallas. Trust your health to a proven expert. Schedule a confidential consultation with Dr. Lartchenko today.
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