When bacteria enter your knee, it can become attached to the surface of your implant. This infection can begin in the hospital at the time of your initial operation or can begin years later. The risk of an infection after a knee replacement is 0.5% – which is very small. Unfortunately, when it happens, it is a major complication for patients. The risk for infection can be higher in patients with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, or patients who smoke. Infection is considered whenever patients have a complication with their knee replacement, such as pain, instability, or drainage. Possible treatment options for an infected total knee include removal of the implant, revision, debridement, or just antibiotic suppression. Often, multiple surgeries are required to cure your infected total knee. You should have a discussion with Dr. Morton regarding the long process to treat an infected knee replacement.
Read more about infected knee replacements.