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Infection after knee replacement is a serious condition that has the potential to cause many medical complications. If you think you may have an infection after a knee replacement, our specialists at Regency can diagnose and treat the issue. 

What is infected TKA?

Infection after a total knee arthroplasty (replacement) sometimes develops after surgery, and may appear around the artificial implant that replaces the knee joint. The infection is caused by bacteria entering the wound, and can be problematic—especially for younger athletes. The goal of treatment is to remove the infection and to restore a pain-free, functional knee.

Symptoms of infection after knee surgery

  • Persistent pain around the knee
  • Warmth, tenderness, and/or swelling around the knee
  • Fever higher than 100 degrees
  • Chills
  • Drainage from the incision
  • Reddening of the skin at the knee (may be in patches)
  • Pain returning after it stopped
  • Pain that continues to grow worse over a month

Who gets infections after knee surgery?

Although infected total knee surgery is fairly rare, anyone who has a knee replacement is at risk. 60% to 70% of prosthetic joint infections develop within the first two years after surgery, but they can happen anytime following the operation.

Infected total knee treatment 

The best treatment for an infection after total knee replacement will depends on the type of infection, how long it has been present, and its severity. Sometimes antibiotics are the solution, but other times, surgery is necessary. 

The surgery is typically done in two parts. In the first surgery, your surgeon will remove the implant and clean the infected area. A spacer will then be placed. A spacer is an antibiotic-loaded cement block that helps maintain joint stability while keeping infection away from the area. In the second surgery, your surgeon will remove the spacer and add a new knee implant.

The importance of a specialist

Treatment, salvage, and reconstruction of the knee after replacement and infection can be challenging, and it’s very important to work with a surgeon with plenty of experience in this area. The knee is a very important joint, especially for athletes, and selecting a qualified specialist is of the utmost importance. 

Why choose Regency Specialties?

At Regency, one of our specialties is salvage and reconstruction of the body. We are a multi-specialty group delivering the very best treatments in dermatology, plastic surgery, breast oncology, reconstruction, and dermatopathology, all in one practice. Our team provides the highest level of care and availability, with the top medical dermatology specialists in Arizona. We make you feel welcome from the moment you enter our door to your very last follow-up appointment. To learn more or schedule a consultation, please call 623-243-9077 or contact us online

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