Treatment for an Infected Knee Joint

Most treatment strategies for infected knee joints are a combination of surgical procedures and antibiotic therapy. In severe cases, amputation, joint fusion or removal and a two-stage revision surgery may be necessary. Patients who are not candidates for a second surgery are usually treated with long term anti-biotic suppression.

Two-stage revision surgeries have good results in treating infections, though they can be extremely taxing on the body. In the first stage, the infected prosthetic is removed and cleaned. The wound is also treated with antibiotics. Cement spacers with antibiotics are placed where the infected joint was, and the wound is closed. The patient is immobile for a long length of time while the infection resolves. Once the infection has been eradicated, a second-stage surgery is used to re-implant the clean device. Extensive physical therapy usually follows this procedure.

In very rare cases, the infection cannot be treated by revision surgery or antibiotics and reoccurs. Doctors may be forced to amputate a limb in these instances. However, a procedure called intramedullary arthrodesis of the knee may prevent such a drastic measure. In this procedure, the femur and tibia are fused together by inserting a metal rod into the bones.  While the patient avoids amputation, there is significant loss of motion and possible shortening of the leg.

If you or a loved one has had problems after knee replacement, Contact us today for a free legal case consultation and evaluation. Joel A. Nash, Esq. (216) 691-3000