Staph infection in a TKR going on 3 years

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Topic Title: Staph infection in a TKR going on 3 years
Created On: 07/28/2008 10:06 PM

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 08/17/2008 12:24 PM

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luvsrail

Posts: 21

Becky,My email address is, railrust47@sbcglobal.net My husband is "railrust" and I am "luvsrail". He's worked for the railroad for 30 years! Go figure!!I am in such pain trying to work as a nurse. I only work two nights a week and I LOVE my job! I don't want to have to quit working but I don't know how much longer I can do it. It's not fair to my co-workers who, sometimes, have to go do things for me cause I can't walk. I work in a Mother/Baby unit at Methodist Hospital here in San Antonio, Texas. I mentioned above that my husband works for the RR. Well, that is causing problems where disability comes in. Social Security has told me that I can probably get disability but my RR retirement will be lowered. (I will receive RR retirement along with my husband when he retires in ten years) Anyway, I'm looking into what is available to me through the RR in order to claim disability.I am in a quandry as to whether to try and "schedule" the antibiotic spacer process or to just wait until the infected knee "fails". My OS told me in February that I am VERY lucky that the knee has lasted two years! Yikes....that means that it could be any day? I not sure whether I'd rather prepare for it, emotionally and financially and physically, or to just go along and deal with it when it happens!Thanks for writing!Becky T (luvsrail)


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luvsrail
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 08/15/2008 06:25 AM

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gammawbecky

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Luvsrail, I would love to email you.....what is your address??BeckyPS Yes, I have been thru the antibiotic spacer thing twice. I think they do it in a "clean air" OR that stops any infections at the hospital. Besides, you get to go home and have IV antibiotics for a couple of months to kill your already infected knee. Oh yes, my first knee replacement was in 2002.
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 08/14/2008 09:09 PM

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luvsrail

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gammawbecky, when did you have your first knee replacement? Have you ever gone through the antibiotic spacer thing where they cement your knee? I'm trying to find out how big the chance is of getting staph in the knee AFTER they replace it again. We can email directly too. I check that more often than this site. Let me know.


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luvsrail
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 08/14/2008 09:03 PM

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luvsrail

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schoust!!! Have you had your surgery?? I will keep checking on this site as, hopefully, you will tell us all of your GREAT success!!Becky - gammaw, I feel so lucky to have found this site. I went to my OS today for my first injection of Synvisc in my "good" knee. It is just giving me fits now. I am not going to go anything about it other than the injections at this point. I'm gun shy, to say the least! I told my OS that I don't really feel so sorry for myself after reading all of the horror stories on this site! It is so hard for someone to go through this alone and not be able to find anyone who can validate and empathize with what is happening to you. I would really like to, somehow, advertise this site to ppl who are about to undergo or have undergone this surgery so that we can all be a support to each other. The depression that comes along with the recovery of the surgery alone can be devastating! That's not to mention the depression that comes if something goes wrong such as contracting staph. People don't realize how life altering that can be!Anyway, I'm on my soapbox again and just wanted to say that I'm enjoying having this site to read! Keep writing!Does anyone mind telling me how old you all are? I'm 49 years old.


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luvsrail
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 08/05/2008 04:27 PM

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gammawbecky

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That is OK schoust....I'm Bipolar!! I understand.Becky
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 08/05/2008 10:09 AM

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schoust

Posts: 118

Thanks Becky somtimes I let the ADD in me get the best of me! I certainly hope and pray all goes well.My problem is I think to much. Sorry this is not about me,I just got carried away in my usual thought......


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Young and Hurting Bad.........
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 08/05/2008 05:55 AM

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gammawbecky

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Ralph, Ralph, Ralph....I fear that I have not been more encouraging to you. Listen, here are the odds as I was told them - 90% of the people who have a TKR do just WONDERFUL! They breeze thru the surgery and rehab like you wouldn't believe (especially if you read this forum much!) Of the 10% left, there are difficulties healing, prolonged recoveries, alot of extra pain and unusual outcomes. The unusual outcomes include infection, the prosthetic coming loose and other odd and various things and they comprise 1%. THEN, there is me....I'm in the 1% of 1% to have had two infections and all the other things that have happened to me....just a lucky kind of girl, I guess - LOL!So, see Ralph, your odds are that you will breeze thru surgery with no problem as long as you do your part in rehab - something that has been pounded into your head since you have been reading this forum. I am confident that you will work your rear-end off doing exercises since you have far more motivation than the average person! So, please, Ralph - as you come closer to your surgery date - start to think positive thoughts of playing with your children, loving on your wife and being back to the daily grind at work. Remember.....90% is the vast majority!Becky
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 08/05/2008 01:18 AM

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lgchap

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hi becky t---i am a two yr bkr person, and a med tech (laboratory technician), i would like to say that.. please do NOT FEEL GUILTY--- you did not cause/nor let happen the infection in your knee-- yes, we have staph that is normal flora on our skin, and unfortunately it invaded your knee, though nothing on your part--- it just happens--- yes, it's a bitch!!!! and i am so sorry that it happened to you-- i will say, keep writing here, this a great forum, we all care, AND MANY OF US HAVE BEEN THROUGH IT--or something similar. i Will say again, write, write, here--- we are all here to help & have probably been thru most everything!! laurie (from so dak)
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 08/05/2008 01:18 AM

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lgchap

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hi becky t---i am a two yr bkr person, and a med tech (laboratory technician), i would like to say that.. please do NOT FEEL GUILTY--- you did not cause/nor let happen the infection in your knee-- yes, we have staph that is normal flora on our skin, and unfortunately it invaded your knee, though nothing on your part--- it just happens--- yes, it's a bitch!!!! and i am so sorry that it happened to you-- i will say, keep writing here, this a great forum, we all care, AND MANY OF US HAVE BEEN THROUGH IT--or something similar. i Will say again, write, write, here--- we are all here to help & have probably been thru most everything!! laurie (from so dak)
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 08/04/2008 05:15 PM

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schoust

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Hello again Ladies! Every time I come to this sight it reminds me of the what if this happens thing. Unfortunetly these are the things that can happen to one when they have extensive surgery and they are what I fear the most! In fact I think about this possibility all the time for a couple of reasons. The biggest being if somthing goes wrong and my knee gets infected what will I do? Heck my Wife is going to have to bring me down and go home,she can't even stay with me! I thought that there would be some sort of break since you are having the surgery there Hah! Thats a joke! The cheapest room is 265.00 a night which I can't afford. In summery if the dreaded infection were to rear it's ungly head after this surgery I'm DONE!! And this Ladies is my biggest fear! I'm sorry ladies I guess I'm a bit vervouse of the what if's! Heack you Girls are living it and hanging tough while doing so!! That to me is in itself awsome!Hang tough Girls !I don't know You all but after chatting a bit I think you have the whear withall to heal up and feel better! I have faith that this is the case and so should you......Ralph


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Young and Hurting Bad.........
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 08/04/2008 05:54 AM

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gammawbecky

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Hey Becky....it's Becky!!! (How Cool) Listen, what you are about to go thru is miserable at best. Do you want to e-mail direct while you are laid up?? Nothing like talking to someone who has gone thru the same thing!! BeckyPS I take Doxiciline everyday now, just trying to stop any infection from happening again. I also take Penicillin. Mayo Docs say it is for the rest of my life!! See, it never goes away!
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 08/03/2008 03:22 PM

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luvsrail

Posts: 21

Hi Becky and schoust. I am grateful to my doctors for acting aggresively and quickly on my knee when I had the staph. I'm so disgusted at this whole thing. I was seven weeks out of my knee replacement when I contracted staph so, like you said Becky, we all have staph on our skin, in our noses, etc. and I probably gave myself the infection! That's what really makes me mad! I am having trouble with my other knee now and I'm wondering if it would be wise to just get all of it done and get it all over with! I don't know if my doc would even consider doing both and anyway, I have to go through the dreaded knee antibiotic spacer thing first! I hate not knowing when this infected knee is going to fail. I had the two month course of IV antibiotics and I now take 1000 mg of Dicloxicillin a day so I guess it could last a while. Seems to be holding the infection at bay for now. Good luck and God Bless during your surgery schoust.Becky T.


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luvsrail
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 08/02/2008 10:54 AM

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schoust

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Hi agin Becky. Thats great news! The countdown for me has started! My heart is good I have the blood flow that I need now I have a donation of blood and a couple of other tests and the 14th of this mounth will set the tone for the biggest change in my life in some time. And I am hoping that my faith will also get me through this because I believe that this is the reason that I have been traviling in and out Of New York to get this done.....It can't come sooner.


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Young and Hurting Bad.........
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 07/31/2008 06:14 AM

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gammawbecky

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Hey, Ralph Just a quickie to tell you that the Lord has been good to me this Summer. I did have some stabbing pain early on, but it has gone away and I have been just fine for the past two months. For ME that is great news. I also wanted to add that I have relied on God to take me thru all that has happened to me....without Him, I don't know what would have become of me!!Becky
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 07/30/2008 03:38 PM

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schoust

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Hi Becky! Yah you are one of the cases that I was refering to! I pray that this is not my fate but if that is what the Lord has for me I will accept it with out question! I sure hope that thas is not the case because I know that you all are facing some serious setbacks! I do know somwhat what it is like to try to heel from disaster because I went through 26 breaks in this leg and seven were coumpound fractures! And unbelievibly there was NO sign infection? I have to atribute this to the care that was given to me by my Mom and Sisters! At the time I was very young and stupid but they cleaned and changed my dressings for three years religeously!! Anyway I hope to God that things get better for you Ladies and I will remember you in my prayers so get better already! And above all keep the faith and keep your chin up!!!Keep me posted on how you guy's are doing.....Ralph in Ct.


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Young and Hurting Bad.........
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 07/30/2008 07:54 AM

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gammawbecky

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Hi, ya'll! You want to hear a nightmare story?? How about TWO infections of TKR'S?? And, yes, it is the nightmare you have heard of. They will remove the current prothesis, put in a spacer impregnated with gentomycin (an antiibiotic), sew you up and keep your leg straight as possible for a couple of months at least. In the meantime, you get to infuse antibiotics thru a PIC line a couple times a day until they think your infection is gone. Then, no more IV's for a couple of weeks to see if the infection rears its ugly head again. If not, you will have a new TkR that will have longer stems that go thru the bone. It takes ages to heal from this one.....minimum of one year. Then, lucky me has a second infection so we decided it was time to go to the Mayo Clinic which is 8 hrs. away from home. This time they did cultures until they found the one that worked the absolute best antibiotic to use. They also put on a full leg cast when I had no knee. Believe it or not, it was far more comfortable than the leg imobilizer!!! That time it took three months to kill the infection(s)....I had two. Now, little known fact.....everyone has staph germs that live on your skin. One of my infections was this skin staph dwelling inside my knee! The other was a type of strep.My doc at Mayo chose to use a Zimmer NexGen rotating hinge prothesis that will hopefully be my last since you lose bone everytime a TKR is taken out and I have very little bone left. I am also on two kinds of antibiotics - penicillin and doxicyclen - for the rest of my life twice a day to try and prevent another infection. So, this is what I have to say about infection - it really sucks but you can make it. Chin up and try to stay in the best mood you can since being miserable doesn't help a thing!! P.S. It could be even worse....I have had 15 surgeries on my knee and counting. So far, I have been doing OK for almost two years now! Cross your fingers for me!!Becky
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 07/29/2008 06:27 AM

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schoust

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Alas this is my biggest fear! I fear infection more than anything else but I have No choice but to do it and hopfully move on? I feel so sorry for anyone who has to go through the night mare of an infected TKR. The though makes me shiver.. Good luke and I will pray for you to heal fast.........


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Young and Hurting Bad.........
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 07/28/2008 10:06 PM

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luvsrail

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I am a 49 year old female. Used to be very active. Still try to be. I am a nurse so I'm on my feet during the hours that I'm at my job as a baby nurse. My woes began some years ago when I tripped over my six pound dog and landed on my wrist and both knees. My wrist was broken and required surgery to fix. Everything went fine with that, however, after the 5-6 month healing period, the wrist continued to be swollen and painful and it seemed that the hardware used to fix the bones was causing my wrist to have a more limited range of motion than was desired. So, the hand surgeon removed the hardware. Then the knee problems began. Due to the wrist being broken, the knees being injured kind of took the back burner. About 2 1/2 years down the road, the torn menisci began to rear their ugly heads. I eventually underwent a meniscectomy in the right knee (the left one is still torn but has not been dealth with yet). Everything was fine for about 6 months and then pain again plagued my days and nights. Turns out, by then, my knee had collapsed and I was walking bone on bone. I did a lot of research, or so I thought, into new technologies to help out with pain. The "Unispacer" came up in my research and it sounded like a good idea. I found a surgeon who dealt with Unispacers and after what I thought was enough investigations, we scheduled the surgery. It was probably the worst thing I ever did. These Unispacers are supposed to be inserted and then glide along the Tibial plateau, creating a groove. Well, mine never did glide!! It was more like GRINDING along the tibial plateau! I believe that this has caused permanent damage in my knee. Anyway, after not being able to walk for four months, I finally insisted that my surgeon do a TKR (the only option after the Unispacer had been done). The difference in having my knee with the Unispacer put on the CPM and the knee replacement on the CPM was totally exciting. Don't get me wrong, it was painful but nothing like it had been with the Unispacer. I was hopeful at that point. Went home, everything was fine for 7 weeks. I had just decided to go back to work and bam! Ended up in the emergency room with a raging fever and the inability to walk all of a sudden! After cultures were done, it was determined to be a staph infection. I was devastated!!! Even as a nurse I did not fully understand the ramifications of a staph infection in a prosthetic device! After the initial surgical drainage and rinsing of the knee, the infectious disease doc and my ortho surgeon embarked on a very aggressive course of IV antibiotics for two months and then the daily 1000 mg dose of oral antibiotics that I now have taken for 2 1/2 years since. My ortho says that I'm very lucky that the knee has lasted two years. He's also told me the horror story of what I have to look forward to once the knee fails. The antibiotic spacer with a cemented knee for 6-12 weeks until all labs show no more infection, and then undergo another total knee replacement. YIKES!!!Has anyone else had a similar experience? What is the level of pain after the infected knee has been replaced again? Can one ever get rid of the pain? I don't even know what my pain is caused from...whether it's from scar tissue, am I somehow allergic to the metals used?, etc. My left knee (the one that hasn't been touched yet) is beginning to be painful all the time now. I'm living on pain medication when I can. I guess I'm looking for some encouragement for when the time comes to do something to the left knee!Hesistant to do it again!


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luvsrail
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