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Author Topic: Please help!! My dad contracted staph from knee surgery, now spread to bone?  (Read 3566 times)

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Offline Kimberly000001

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Please Please,  Can anyone help me?  I am so worried about my father!!!
 
He  (69 years old and thinks he's 20)  fell off a shelf he was building in his garage about 4 months ago and shattered his knee cap (we were lucky he didn't hurt himself worse, so we thought).  He had surgery to wire his knee together  and was sent home a few days later.  He recovered pretty well and was getting around just fine until 10 weeks later...following a physical therapy session (which he described as "rough") he was in immediate, and extrutiating pain. He was in bed on pain killers per his doctor and two days later was sent to the hospital in unbearable pain, fever, etc.  He was told he had a staff infection.  He then had 5 surgeries in 2 1/2 weeks.  Each time they would find major puss, and infection in his knee and would flush the wound.  Finally, on the last surgery they wired his knee back together.  We (my sister and I) did not feel good about this since they had been doing surgeries every few days and every time there was still infection until, perhaps the 5th one.  Even then it was not real clear if the infection was completely gone (anyway, how could the doctor have been sure there was no remaining infection when it was only a few days prior that he had had another "wound clean" that had still revealed infection)? 
 
They sent him home on antibiodics for two months and he only just started getting around with a walker.  So, now...he was just sent back to the hospital yesterday with a red, hot infected knee.  They performed surgery #7 on him today to "see what it looked like" and say that the infection may have spread to the bone.  They are preparing him for possible "worst case" scenarios, such as shaving the tibia and having not full function of his leg' or "other" possible scenarios.  They also suggested yesterday, they (meaning the ortho doctor and the infectious disease doctor) said they are stumped and that he deserves at the least to get a second opinion (my sister and i have been begging him to do this for months).  They are planning to do surgery # 8 on Saturday.
 
Also, he was on Enbrel (and many other meds for arthritis) which weakens the immune system.  Not sure when they actually took him off the enbrel but it was at some point during the 2 1/2 weeks of repeated surgeries.  The doctor explained when he was in for surgery number 3 that  "perhaps that is why he is not fighting the staph infection very well..."
 
We feel strongly that he is not getting adequate care and want to move him to Mayo in Arizona or Minn. Does anyone have experience in a situation like this?  Am I overreacting?  It looks like my father might even lose his leg.   
 
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as we are at a loss for the right thing to do and I am so worried about my dad.
 
 
« Last Edit: June 07, 2006, 06:36:40 AM by Kimberly000001 »

Offline Doc79316

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Hi Kimberley,

I'm so sorry for the problems your father is having with his knee because of infection. You must be so worried. I don't have any answers for you other than this - I'd get a secoond opinion TODAY and don't leave until you have some answers from an experienced knee specialist. Even if you have to drag him there kicking and screaming, get it done.
I've had a couple of infections in my knee since surgery and a "near miss" with MRSA - I know how painful it can be and your father probably won't realise just how bad it can get until it's too late for doctors to do much for him.
I'm not a doctor, so I can't advise you re treatments, drugs etc - this is just my opinion.
Please let us know how he gets on.

Take care,

Laura x
Left knee surgery
08/06/02-L/Release
13/08/03-Fulkerson TTT
05/06/05-Stabilisation & Medialisation/Tendon Transfer
13/01/06-Proximal Hamstring Superior Stabilisation
06/03/06-RSD/CRPS diagnosed
20/07/06 + 03/04/07-Excision of scar tissue
29/05/15-Arthroscopy
02/03/20-Left transfemoral amputation

Offline Lori-Florida

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Kimberly,

I am so sorry about your farther and the family worrys. I can understand completely as I had and still have a bacteria infection in my knee and bones (tibia and femur) It is MRSA I got it after a total knee replacement. You can read all about it on here under I could lose my leg because of MRSA.

I also had 8 surgerys afterwards to try and wash out the infection but nothing helped, I was on IV antibiotics including vancomyicin  for over 12 weeks along with continues oral antibiotics. The infection is in my bones now I also lived 9 months without a knee joint at all just leg immobolized with nothing holding it together from the lower to the upper leg except tissue and muscle, It is best if you read  my past history is hard to cover it in a short letterr.

The main reason I am writting this is to let you know that my first surgery and the infection came from Mayo clinic in Jacksonville.  They acted like they really did care but the real truth I feel  is that there no better than any other group they did not want to admit that I got the infection from there surgery. I went from Feb until May before they would admit it  by then it had taken and advanced so far they had to remove my knee prosthesis and left me totally helpless. I only got 4 weeks of antibiotics from then on I made trips every few weeks up there for them to say they dont no what is going on and they dont think it is a infection.. My questiion to them is why did you remove the knee prosthesis if there was no infection. They still would just blow it off. eventually I was put out on the curb. left without doctors no knee and full of infection . all because over all these months my husbands company changed insurance carriers form one good company to another number one company  but they would not except it as they did not particapate in there plans. I was told either I pay in full each time I had anything done or saw any doctors at the clinic or leave. I had no choice I could not commit finacial suside. Not knowing how long and how much and what was going to happen to this leg and the infection. I just wanted to tell you this to let you know my experience with the mayo clinic on top of all that we have been to many attorneys and they all admit this is definitely a mal practice but because the strength in legal advisors and attorneys the Mayo clinic has they can not get any other medical team to testify against them in fear what could happen to there practices in response to there opinion.  I had pictures and everything of the leg and wound and all the medical records. Oh well the best of the worse  things  is I did find another sweet doctor after calling over 100 of them which refused to take on another doctors errors. I am permantly in a wheel chair and still fighting to keep my leg.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I wish and pray for your dad and his health

Lori from Florida
Jan. 2003 Total Knee Replacement
May 2003 Knee infected and removed
May2003-April2004 Had no knee could not walk
April 2004 Revision and MRSA 5 more surgerys
July2004 still treating MRSA cant walk

Offline Heather M.

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I have been seen by Mayo in Arizona and there is a crack team of orthopods and infectious disease doctors.  Dr. Janis Blair, the ID person, was like a detective.  She took the most thorough history I've ever had done and drafted a big plan to deal with my knee if the infection was the key thing going on.  It turns out I had another problem, but I would go back to her in a HEARTBEAT.  She's one of the best of the best. 

Dr. Beauchamps, the OS dep't leader, works with her on deep joint infections.  I really think you'd be in good hands there.  I would take my own father to Dr. Blair and sleep well at night knowing he was in the very best of hands.

I've heard poor things about the ortho dep't of Mayo in Minnesota, and I've learned the hard way that going to a 'big name' place isn't always the answer.  However, I feel very comfortable recommending particular PEOPLE at Mayo Scottsdale.  I had a truly remarkable plan set into action when they thought I had a deep staph or strep infection that had been festering in my knee.  I had such an extensive series of tests done it's a wonder I had any blood left.  I saw Neurologists, Orthopedists, Internal Medicine Specialists, Immunologists, Infectious Disease specialists, and had a GP overseeing my care.  They did every kind of blood test possible and even tested my immunity to common microbes and viruses (because I have tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis in the past after living in Brazil).  They even did some genetic testing to see if I had emphysema and some other hereditary traits affecting the lungs.

I would highly recommend Drs. Blair and Beauchamps to see your father on an emergency basis.  I saw another ortho who I did not get along well with; I don't doubt his skill though, just his bedside manner!

Hang in there, I hope your father's body begins to respond to the antibiotics.  Embrel is linked to serious infection, so you may want to speak to a rheumatologist in your immediate area and find out if anything can be done differently.

Heather
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmaxwell

Offline Teresa_S

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Kimberly, I , too, am living the nightmare of post knee surgery MRSA, and it is no fun!!I ended up with a tkr, and now the prosthesis is loose, and was too big to begin with, in fact, about the only thing still holding it near where it should be are adhesions. I took the Vanco, multiple surgeries, and then oral antibiotics for months. I am in a  rural area, and have not had good care. Did your dad have a good OS, in a city, rural area or what. Number one, it is difficult for somebody to get another dr to look at a post op problem. I called over 75 drs. on my insurance plan in Kansas City, the closest larger city to me, and only one said they would even see me, and that was if I was to have all my medical records sent first and the OS I was seeing would ask that I be referred. Then the OS dumped me also, like Laurie, and I am now scheduled with a supposedly top notch trauma orthopod, most likely for referral to several other orthopods. I spend 4 1/2 hours in an MRI today, and it continues to show osteomelitis, into the femur, tibia, and fibula. The prosthesis is loose, and I already had a revision for the screws coming loose just one year post tkr. My whole body has been affected by the MRSA, and continuing problems. I would recommend that you do get another opinion , within your insurance plan, as these things tend to go on and on. Having the current physician pick or choose the OS for second opinion is not usually the best. Just search the provider list of your plan, and go from there. Don't disclose too much info when looking for another OS. Just perhaps, a second opinion for a problem that is not getting better. It is also not good to make comments about previous care. I hope he gets an appt. FAST Does he have an infectios disease dr. seeing him concurrently. AS, as mentioned, they are aware of some weird things to look for when healing is not progressing as it should. MRSA standard is the washouts of the joint until there is no pus, etc seen by the eye during surgery, biopsies of the bone,while they are there, and Vancomycin for 3-6 months IV, and then a couple of PO Antibiotics. too.  He probably has pain, just feels really bad all over, in addition. Good luck, find that referral quick. Teresa
« Last Edit: June 08, 2006, 05:31:41 AM by Teresa_S »
On going instrumentation failure, chronic infection,
Arthroscopes Left 11 Right 2, MRSA, L TKR  ,  Revision, LR x5, Medial and lateral meniscus repair, Broken prosthesis
Osteochondral Fracture,untreated 6 mths. Revision new tkr 01-07 awaiting new hip and right knee
R TKR pending

Offline Kimberly000001

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Hi everyone.

Thank you so much for your feedback and thoughts.  I spent the day at the hospital today with my dad and family.  They are telling us now it is almost certain he has infection in the bone.  They are talking about what might happen now...starting with shaving the bone and trying to save his leg, possible total knee replacement, and then amputation.

The frightening thing is... my dad is so worn out by this thing he is not fighting very hard.  He would normally be educating himself on the situation and trying to find the best care.  He seems almost willing to continue with the doctor that I believe made many serious mistakes.  He even seems to accept the possible worst, thinking that he will feel better (which I understand might not be the case).

I would like to ask if any of you know how long surgeons are supposed to wait for the infection to clear before putting hardware back into the leg.  He had 5 surgeries in 2 1/2 weeks (now up to 8 with #9 scheduled friday or saturday) and the surgery where the doctor re-wired his knee was only 3 days after a wash out surgery where the infection still existed.  My dad was sent home still a very ill man with his knee wired back together. I am sure this is why it is in the bone now.  The surgeon is very young (only in practice 5 years) and I believe he did the wrong thing.  Other doctors on the case were hesitant about going forward with that last one.

We did get a second opinion today but it was a doctor from the same hospital so he was limited on what he could say.  When I asked if it was right for the doctor to re-wire his leg when the infecton had been seen only a few days previous...the new doctor paused and cleared his throat and said "well, there are a lot of factors that would decide that ... at some point you have to move forward, you have to look at the experience of the doctor (not very experienced), and how well the patient is doing (my father was in horrible, horrible shape, could not even raise his head from the pillow). When leaving the hospital room, this doctor (who was very nice, by the way) even told how he had patted my father's surgeon (kind of in a fatherly way) on the back, saying, "oh don't feel badly, we all have a patient like this that we never forget ...every doctor has a patient like this from their early days".  Hmmm, I did not find that comforting or amusing.  Does this mean he is learning on my father? 

I am going to read Lori's story tonight as I suspect it is somewhat similar.  I am pushing for the doctors recommended by Heather (thank you Heather ... I think that is what we really need -- a name of a real doctor that has helped).  Anyway, just getting him out of the practice of his current doctor would give me some peace.

 Please give me any feedback, even if I am under the wrong impressions.  I am really just looking to help my father.

Offline Kimberly000001

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Oh, by the way, my dad only had 25 degrees movement in his knee when they wired him back together.  Isnt that amazingly low and indicative of problems?
Trying to understand this...
« Last Edit: June 08, 2006, 08:16:18 AM by Kimberly000001 »

Offline Heather M.

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Kimberly,

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon to have severe limitations in motion follow multiple scopes and infection.  This is something that will be addressed later, but it may well clear up on its own once the outrage and insult to the joint have gone away. 

My first experience with extreme flexion limitations was in a similar situation--I had a debridement and lavage for infection and could only bend to 35 degrees on waking up from that procedure.  I know it's deeply distressing and exremely painful.  But it has to be a secondary issue because the infection is the first thing that must be resolved.  So try not to borrow trouble--it could be that once the infection is gone the leg will stop swelling so much and motion will improve.  The doctor may have wired things tightly, there could be any number of causes of this.

As for the comments the doctor made...they made the hair on the back of my neck stand up!  I know that I personally am the 'midnight regret' patient for my original surgeon, and it's damned poor consolation for me at my most bitter times.  So don't wait, don't worry about hurt feelings, and DON'T be pressured into doing anything you aren't comfortable with!  Independent second opinions can only come from doctors/practices outside of the treating physician's realm of influence.  And sometimes not even then.  But Teresa is right, you need to be a bit circumspect and not bash the previous doctor--stress that your concern is for the health and welfare of your father.  Liability issues must necessarily be secondary right now, but please do document everything and get every comment/regimen/post-op and medication order IN WRITING and get a copy of it for your own files.  Do this discreetly--don't announce that it's for future litigation, but do know and defend your rights...it is within your father's rights to have a copy of every piece of paper in his file, including the thoughts/observations of the second opinion within the same hospital.  Just understand the relationships inside the hospital make it difficult for doctors to speak freely.

As for your father's demeanor, infection will really take it out of you.  It is like having the worst case of Hong Kong or Syndey flu EVER.  There is not one body part that doesn't hurt, the patient is often listless and lacks any interest in what's going on around them, and the pain can be out of control.  So fight for proper pain management--ideally hospitals like to keep the pain below a level of 3-4 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being rolling on the floor crying).  Obviously more control would be better.  If the current setup isn't getting it done, find out what is being administered and what the other options are.

Patients have to stand up for themselves, and when they are too ill to do that, the family needs to.  Don't worry about hurt feelings or how nice, caring, and compassionate the current surgeon is.  That is all well and good, but caring and compassionate doesn't kill invading microbes.  Only competence does.  Honestly, I wish my first surgeon had been a complete jerk, because then I would have  left him a lot sooner and might still have a functioning knee!!!  I know, it sounds melodramatic, but it's absolutely true in my case.....

I will give you an address I found on the web for Dr. Blair.  (Close spaces to make the address viable:  blair . janis @ Mayo . edu  )   It was in a public location on the Net, so I'm sure it would be okay to write her a brief message asking for an emergency consult.  Here's a brief bio, photo, and contact info as well--don't let the age fool you, Dr. Blair is one of the top ID doctors in the country and is relentless in her search of a cause. 
http://www.mayoclinic.org/infectiousdiseases-sct/10953701.html

Here's the same link for Dr. Beauchamp--note his specialization in infected, failed joint replacement--he's your guy!  http://www.mayoclinic.org/orthopedicsurgery-sct/10344594.html
You could likely find Dr. Beauchamps' info as well, I imagine it woudl be the exact format (lastname . firstname @ Mayo . edu  - just close all the spaces) and send out other emails.  They have a pretty extensive online presence.  I basically just picked up the phone and made a panicked call to Dr. Blair and she and her assistant got the ball rolling and told me the normal procedure:  usually, a patient has to start with a "GP" or Internal Medicine specialist who will do a thorough history and then decide which specialties the patient will be sent to next.  This often happens in the same day...how's that for service?  I saw my internal medicine specialist (who was a bit of a waste of my time because he hadn't even heard of my condition before!) and then was sent to the waiting room for 20 minutes.  The doctor forwarded on two computerized referrals for infectious disease and immunology/rheumatology, with a third for orthopedics pending the consult with the ID doctor.  It went very quickly, and within a day I had been seen by orthopedics, had two MRI's, a CT scan, and a number of-xrays.  It really is a well-oiled machine and they make tons of last minute appointments--understanding, as they do, that folks travel from all over to be seen there. Oh, and there is a whole concierge department which can make recommendations for hotels, arrange travel shuttles, help coordinate air reservations, and everything.  The place is crawling with uniformed volunteers who are retired folks that feel passionately about the Mayo Clinic, and their job in life is to make you more comfortable and ensure you are taken care of and have a place to ask questions.  They have had lots of work flow analysis consulting done, and you can tell by the way they whisk you around from group to group.  Everything is all computerized, so every doctor has access to the patient's file from any terminal--complete with observations and notes from every other Mayo doctor.  Pretty impressive.

Hope this will help you guys rest a little easier.

Heather
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmaxwell

Offline Lori-Florida

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Hi Heather,

Your right the facility that the Mayo runs is just beyond imaganation and the top of the line. Very Friendly and calming feeling.

I am really glad you had a awesome Ortho doc and Infectious one. I agree if One of the collegues do make a mistake you need to go else where for second opinion.  While I was going to the Mayo in Jacksonville they did do a reconstrution of my talus dome that was sucessful and ran smoothly. They took Cartilige from my knee to do the repairs. Very well knowing I would need a tkr after that . What I never dreamed of was a uncurable infection, that would change my life forever. I am relatively young  early 50's now.  But when the subject of infection came up about 4 ortho surgeons of the Mayo was involved all saying the same thing but in different ways.Basically just talking in circles and out the corner of there mouths blaming my symptoms on everything but infection

They made a big mistake and sent me to a Pain Manangement doctor at the mayo saying they thought I had RDS/CPS and he right there told myself and family that I needed another doctor as this is plain as day is a severe infection. I left his office being told someone would be in touch from the clinic. When we got home (a 3 hour drive) my daughter informed me that my Orthopedic surgeon has been calling and calling personally.  Like that the phone rang again and my hubby answered it . Guess what it was the doctor from Mayo .. He was so nice told my husband that we should come back tommorrow and he would like to examine me again with some other test and would put us up in the lodiging facility ect ect. My husband told him that was not going to be possible as he works a job for a living and could not take off again the next day. He asked to speak to me and my husband told him I was in bed in tears from the pain and the trip. Believe me the next morning the phone rang again and it was the doctor again wanting me to agree to allow him to continue to treat me until this was cleared up the he knew that the Anastehisis (ms) that had seen me the day before recommended the chief of surgery there but he would like another chance . Now tell me there isnt cover ups everywhere.  Called CTB (cover thy but)

Although thru the whole time they all stayed very professional. I just happened to be that 1 percent of patients that get an infection that was now being told to me. In other words tough luck.

The surgeon I now have Is at Celebration Hospital down by Disney and is wonderful and honest shoots from the hip .. I love him but unfortunately  he cant do much more than he has. Had progressed way to far.

Heather one thing important is I kept getting my medical records from every doctor involved from the get go. Along with my family took pictures of my wound from the beginning you can see where it started getting red and the staples were still in until it actually exploded one night and the EMT's had to come and put compressions on it , Even the visiting nurses new it was bad . Matter of fact there company was so upset over no action from the doctors that they pulled there nurses from my care for awhile as they did not want to be held responsible if something bad would happen. They had even spoke to the sugeons or nurses of surgeon about there concerns.  Just make sure you keep records and a journal and pictures if at all possible . Again any help I would be happy to assist you.. One more thing try and stay positive with your dad  it is hard to but will help in the long run especially from depression. Lori
Jan. 2003 Total Knee Replacement
May 2003 Knee infected and removed
May2003-April2004 Had no knee could not walk
April 2004 Revision and MRSA 5 more surgerys
July2004 still treating MRSA cant walk

Offline Kimberly000001

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Hi Teresa S

Can you give me any suggestions on how to research a specialized team of ID and Orthopedics in a large town.  I have been speaking to my dad...pushing very hard for the recommendations of Heather to the Mayo (since she has REAL names of real doctors that sound wonderful)... I thought I had him convinced yesterday.  Today he is going back and forth about how hard it would be since we live in Southern California (orange county).  Going there for a few weeks would be fine but I am starting to understand this will be a long battle so even if we do go out there he will need someone here for the duration. 

First I have to get him to understand that his current doctor is NOT the guy and then have a better place to offer him.  His current OS said he wants to refer him to a place at USC  in Los Angeles...I am not comfortable with that as I don't want anyone connected remotely to this guy.  I guess I have been reading too much about cover ups etc. and I am getting a little paranoid.  Anyway, it is my father so I want to be sure.

We hear so many different stories, one doctor who came in for a second opinion kept referring to the infection as MRSA and when we tried to clarify that his "current" doctors said  its not MRSA.  We don't even know what type of infection it is.  I do know that he was on Vanco for a week or so until his kidneys started to go downhill and they had to change drugs. 

Anyway, thank you for your thoughts.

Offline Kimberly000001

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Hi Lori and Heather,

Oh, thank you so much for taking the time to write.  I have been having such a hard time making my father understand the seriousness of his situation (he just finally started to get it yesterday when they were talking about amputation), but I am still having to convince him.  As I said yesterday he feels so horrible, is in such pain, he doesnt have the energy to look for a new doctor...he is almost willing to just let this OS do whatever he says ( this OS is very young only in practice 5 years and was the OS assigned to my father when he first fell and shattered his knee...not the kind of doctor you want for something this specialized and this serious).  So I have been taking in little segments from both of your comments to get him to understand and it has really been helpful.  At one point he was ready to go to Arizona but is concerned of the cost to air lift (he will also need someone local since, if he does go out to Arizona, it would only be for 2-4 weeks and someone else would have to monitor him out here in Southern California).  So I am still pushing the mayo clinic. 

Yes, and thank you Lori for your notes about Mayo...I do understand you had some very good feedback and some bad feedback.  He does have good insurance so that should be okay.  You cant help but have a lesser opinion about the place that gave you this thing in the first place...that is exactly how I feel about my fathers hospital and his doctor.  Heathers referral does look good thought, doesn't it.  Its so hard to find any doctors anywhere that have real experience with this and are so proactive and aggressive.  That is why I like the sound of them so much.  Well, I will keep working.

The doctors are now saying that they expect to have a wash out tomorrow and send him home.  WHAT????  Didn't these same doctors just the other day say it is in the bone and discuss amputation?   WOW!   I guess we will get more clarification tomorrow. 

Thank you both so much for your help...it is so appreciated and I hope you are doing well and better today.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2006, 06:17:32 AM by Kimberly000001 »

Offline Kalin354

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Hey Kimberly I am totally new to this board (or any board) and found your post.  First I am appalled that they kept opening his knee every few days, that is ridiculuous.  OF COURSE IT WOULD STILL HAVE PUS IN IT..it takes weeks and weeks of ANTIBIOITIC THERAPY to even touch it.  My word, I can't imagine the damage they have done opening it, closing it, opening it, closing it, geeez..get a 2nd opinion FAST and don't let those freaks touch him again.  My husband developed an MRSA (staph) in December 2005, he has been in and out of the hospital ever since, and has had 2 rounds of antibiotic therapy.  First they left the joint in and washed it out and put him on 6 weeks...the pain was back...then they waited, because LAB WORK does not frequently show that there is infection in there..if you are having fever and redness..OH MAN..it is infected.  ANyway...he just finished round 2, this time it was 8 weeks following removal of the joint, and putting in a cement/antiobiotic spacer..they have stopped IV therapy, but he is still on oral antiobiotics.  THis week they aspirated the knee (as much as they could) only got a few drops out..and it will be cultured.  Becuase they believe the lab numbers are good, they think it is time to proceed with the new knee replacement (which will be knee #3 by the way)...I hope they are right, but honestly, they don't know for sure and there is no guarantee.  Even if the culture is clear, that does not mean the infection is gone.  BUT THEY HAVE NOT BE opening and clsoing his knee every other day...DON"T LET THEM DO THAT WITHOUT A CLEAR EXPLANATION..I sure hope your daddy does well and fights this thing, bless his heart...it is a tough battle, one we are still in.  My husband is scheduled for surgery on the 20th of June...but you know...the other 2 times he had MRSA it DID NOT SHOW UP ON LAB WORK....scarey
Blessings
kalin354

Offline Heather M.

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Personally I think there are a lot of questions unanswered here, but going in and debriding an infected joint (or any wound, really) is STANDARD practice recommended by just about every infectious disease specialist out there.  There are multiple reasons, first of which being no wound will close in the presence of infection inside, and an open wound is an invitation for some nasty hosptial bug....

Anyway, I did want to say that every other day debridements are NOT uncommon, they are not questionable, and they are not bad medicine.  The doctors cannot leave the bacteria in there to make themselves at home in every nook and cranny of the joint space.  It is an attempt to create a standoff situation, essentially.  If the joint were not cleaned out very frequently, the bacteria would grow and grow and spread and put the entire limb at risk--to say nothing of the patient's life.  Not all infection patients need this frequent debridement--I only needed a single one done because I responded well and didn't have an extrememly aggressive bug.  But others who do need the dead tissue scrubbed and 'clean margins' created on a regular basis to hold back the spread of the infection.

Re: the costs of an air evacuation--if this is prohibitive, why not rent a van/minivan, throw down a camp mattress or something and make a bed for your father.  He can be in Scottsdale inside of 6 hours from LA--I know the drive well, probably down to the pothole....

Hang in there.  How is your father feeling today?

Heather
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
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Offline Lori-Florida

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Kimberly.

Heather is right every two or three days I  had debridements 8 times and even then it was a tough healing. That is the only way to get to the infection especially MRSA. MRSA breeds on any metal . Which is why they usually take it all out. Although we elected to keep mine in as I could not have anymore prosthesis fitted as I had to  much bone loss and weak bone from so long with the infection. There for I am watched closely by infectious disease doctors that are keep a close eye on me and antibiotics all the time even had Hyperbaric treatments as it was hopes that the bacteria would die as it is very hard for bacteria to live in high oxygen levels. I had to quit them early do to problems with my ears and eye sight. You might ask a doctor about those treatments for your dad. I really hope you can convince your dad to get another opinion. I had several with ID doctors. Good luck and keep in touch. Lori
Jan. 2003 Total Knee Replacement
May 2003 Knee infected and removed
May2003-April2004 Had no knee could not walk
April 2004 Revision and MRSA 5 more surgerys
July2004 still treating MRSA cant walk