How to Prevent Infection after a Joint Replacement Surgery?Dr. Sinukumar Bhaskaran
One of the most frequently asked questions to a joint replacement surgeon is whether a person is old or young enough for joint replacement surgery. According to the best joint replacement surgeon in Pune, there is no specific age at which a person can undergo a joint replacement surgery safely.
However, the doctor always takes the final judgment after considering the benefits vs. the risks of the surgery with the particular patient in mind. Whereas for some cases the benefits are more than the risks even if they are aged above 90 years, it is also surprising that several young people are not the right patient for a joint replacement surgery many a time because of certain factors that are actually under their control.
A majority of such factors improve the chances of happening of a serious infection called prosthetic joint infection (PJI) in the case of joint arthroplasty. A small percentage of patients, typically 1 percent, that undergo knee or hip replacement may develop a joint replacement infection.
Infections can happen either in the wound or deep inside where the artificial joints are placed. Infections may grow during the hospital stay or after you reach your home. Joint replacement infections can happen even after many years after the operation. PJI is a major type of infection often accompanied by pain. It takes a long time to heal this infection and prevents the patient from enjoying the pain relief and functionality of the limb.
Easy Methods to Prevent Prosthetic Joint Infection (PJI)
The best way to stop the painful experience of infection is to prevent the infection from occurring in the first place. Restriction of infection factors includes specific actions by both the surgeon and the patient. If you are prepared for joint replacement surgery, given below are 4 ways in which joint replacement risks are decreased.
The patient is given antibiotics to stop infection within an hour of the start of the operation in the operating room itself. Thereafter antibiotics are given once every 24 hours after the operation.
#2: Nasal Scanning
Testing for the existence of Staphylococcus bacteria in the nasal passages many weeks before the surgery (in the preoperative stage) has been observed to prevent joint infection. In the case of those patients in whom the staphylococcus bacteria are seen to be present, they are given an intranasal antibacterial ointment which they can apply.
It is a great idea to give up smoking before the operation. Nicotine users are seen to develop problems that delay the healing of the wounds after the operation. If the wounds take longer to cure, there are higher chances for infections to set in. Those who stop smoking before the surgery have a lesser risk of infection.
#4: Blood Sugar
In case the patient is a diabetic, he/she must control their blood sugar level before and after the surgery. It is important to get the HbA1c test done before surgery. Those who have an HbA1c value of more than 7 are at a higher risk of getting a PJI. The surgery should be hold up until the HbA1c level is well under control.
#5: Weight Management
The patient needs to maintain a healthy weight. It has been noticing that having a healthy weight or having a BMI of any value between 35 and 40 kg/sq.m. Therefore it is best to control the patient’s weight to a healthy range before the surgery. If the patient BMI is over 40, the risk for PJI is expected to rise to seven times more than otherwise.
At the end of it all, for more motive than one, the patient has to take ownership of their health and quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, control diabetes, and aggressively manage these factors if require be to enjoy fast recovery and wound healing and prevent any infection in the replaced joint. It is also main that the patient asks the surgeon about the steps the hospital takes to prevent infections. Get in touch with our Orthopedician in viman Nagar Pune to know more about your joint replacement journey.