Many patients find themselves suffering with infection during their knee replacement surgery recovery period, a dangerous problem that complicates an already serious medical problem. New tests are being developed to identify the pathogens that create the infection, helping physicians to stop the problem even before it manifests.
Using an established test to identify microbes, a new test is being created to detect infections in joints before they start creating symptoms. The test is still being built, but don’t expect it to be used by your surgeon for several years. After it’s been completed, the FDA has to approve the testing process — and that could take up to 5 years.
Around 2% of the 800,000 knee and hip replacement surgeries in the United States are complicated by infection, but the numbers get higher from there. Infection develops in revision joint surgery around 25% of the time. Revision surgery is already a major complication in knee replacement surgery recovery. Almost 4% of knee and hip replacement patients experience infection within the first 10 years of their replacement surgery.
But infections are on the rise among joint replacement patients. The increase of knee replacement surgery procedures being performed and the rising amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in hospitals has made infection more common. The test, when finished, will identify parasites, fungi, viruses and bacteria. A similar test used to detect the influenza virus is already in use in the European Union.
A successful knee replacement surgery recovery
Having a successful replacement surgery is only half of the battle you’ll face with your joints. After a joint has been replaced, you have to learn how to use it all over again. Your body has to adjust to the new materials inside your body, and your skin and muscles have to heal after being cut and traumatized through the surgery itself.
You can do lots of things to make sure you have a smooth knee replacement surgery recovery. Follow all your physician’s orders, and consult with a physical therapist to learn the proper way to use and exercise your new joint. Discuss a partial knee replacement with your physician before you have surgery. For some patients, partial replacement is more viable, and it can lead to shorter knee replacement surgery recovery times.
Surgery isn’t your only option for knee pain relief. Try over-the-counter supplements, changing your common habits and physical therapy to learn ways to treat and avoid knee pain.