It is important to note that an artificial joint can become infected by bacteria during or after surgery. In some cases, infections affecting the artificial joints can be prevented by taking antibiotics before a procedure. Remember that the infected joints require replacement and antibiotics must be taken for a long period of time.
Oftentimes, those who have severe joint diseases should have the joint replaced. Infections are quite common in the artificial joints than the natural joints. In most instances, these infections develop once bacteria enters.
The bacteria can enter the bloodstream via a skin infection, dental procedure, infection from a catheter tube, urinary tract infection, pneumonia or any procedure that involves the insertion of any instrument into the body.
What are the indications of artificial joint infectious arthritis?
The symptoms might include the following:
- Diminished range of motion
Some individuals undergo surgery to correct an issue in their artificial joints before the symptoms start. In some cases, persistent joint pain can develop while at rest or bearing weight on the joint even after several months of successfully recovering from surgery.
An individual with an artificial joint must consult a doctor or dentist whether preventive antibiotics are needed before certain procedures. The procedures in which preventive antibiotics are given include those that involve the teeth, digestive organs and the urinary tract.
Oftentimes, the doctor will check for bacterial infections before a surgical procedure to replace a joint. A swab is utilized to take a sample from inside the nose and sent to the laboratory for analysis if bacteria is present. In case bacterial infection is present, an antibiotic ointment should be applied within the nose to prevent the infections.
Replacement of the artificial joint and long-term therapy under antibiotics are commonly used to manage an infected artificial joint. Remember that full treatment of the infected joint takes a long time.
In most instances, a region or part of the infected artificial joint is taken out and the abscess and infected tissues around it are removed. The new joint is implanted or a spacer that is filled with antibiotics is positioned and a new joint is placed 2-4 months later using antibiotic cement.
For individuals who could not tolerate surgery, the doctor might opt for a long-term antibiotic therapy. Oftentimes, the joint or regions of it are taken out due to uncontrolled infection or there is significant bone loss. After the procedure, the doctor may or might not fuse the bones together that form the joint.
In rare instances, if the infection could not be controlled in any other manner, a region of the limb that contains the joint requires amputation.