Cliff - Infection
I am a 51 year old Canadian male who had a LBHR in Oct 2006 and a RBHR in Sept 08. I live in the province of Nova Scotia but because they do not offer resurfacing here I managed to get sponsored for both my BHR's in NewBrunswick, about 3 hours from where I live. I would like to post my current situation because it may be helpful for anyone that might encounter a post operative infection down the road. My RBHR surgery went very well and I was able to get out of bed within an hour of having surgery.
I initially used one crutch but was able to walk short distances without any support at all. To me it wasn't a big deal because I was up quickly after my first BHR and I'm not special or anything, it's just not in my nature to lay around in a hospital bed. Ultimately I felt that once again I was on my way to a fast recovery.
The Surgery took place on the 23rd and I was released on the 25th but by the evening of the 27th I came down with a high fever and in general felt quite ill....turns out I received both my BHR and a staph infection in the OR.
Because it was the weekend and our Emergency wait time is a minimum of 12 hours I waited until Monday and booked an appointment with my GP. In hindsight this was a mistake. My request for IV anti-biotics was declined and I was placed on a 2 gram dosage of oral for 10 days instead, while this slowed down the infection it didn't resolve it. At this point I realized the situation was outside of my GP's experience level and I booked an appointment with my surgeon. As it turned out he indicated the protocal for infection dictated that had I seen him within 2 weeks of surgery ( I was now at 3 weeks and a day) he would have opened me up and de-brided the joint. Being past this time line I was procribed with very high levels of anti-biotics for 3 weeks but only after blood work and a joint fluid sample did not show any signs of my having a major level of infection in my system. By mid December the infection appeared to have gone away and my incision finally closed up so I thought all was well.
On December 21st I had the onset of a fever, also had night sweats and could feel lumps under my skin around the incision site so wondering if my infection had come back, booked an appointment on the 23rd with my GP. The result was being told I most likely had a virus that was going around. Fast forward to Christmas day.......as I got up from our Turkey dinner the right side of my pants were damp, turned out the incision had split open and a volume of "gunk" was leaking out. The following Monday I booked an appt with my surgeon for Wednesday which resulted in being admitted into the hospital the following Saturday, 03 Jan, (quickest the surgeon could arrange it) for a de-bridement and anti-biotic flush on Sunday. The entire joint area was infected so an infection specialist was called into the OR for consultation.
Today I am hooked up to an anti-biotic pump which delivers a dose every 4 hours and will do so for the next 2 months. After that I will be on oral anti-biotics for 6 months. The overall odds that I will beat this infection are 50/50. Obviously I made some poor choices at the beginning of this issue so hopefully someone will benefit from reading this post and aviod getting themselves into a similiar situation.
I chose to fight this infection prior to having a revision because it is my nature to fight back. Some may very well chose to immediately revise in order to avoid a second (de-bridement), third (devise removal and anti-biotic spacer installation) and fourth (THR installation) surgery/recovery.
LBHR 12 Oct 06
RBHR 23 Sept 08
Dr. A. Clark