"So if 1-2 per cent of the operations lead to bacterial infection, then the need for revision – re-operation – will also increase", says Anna Stefánsdóttir.
This often involves two operations. First, the old prosthesis is removed and temporarily replaced with bone cement, while the patient is treated with antibiotics to eradicate the infection. This takes 6 weeks and during this time the patient can usually remain at home. Then a further operation follows to insert a new prosthesis.
In some cases it is not possible to put in a new prosthesis. These patients can be treated with an arthrodesis, or removal of the prosthesis (which leaves the leg without a real knee joint, often confining the patient to a wheelchair). In exceptional cases the infection leads to amputation.
Anna Stefánsdóttir has reviewed almost 480 cases of revision knee replacement between 1986 and 2000.
"Over time more patients have received a new knee prosthesis and fewer are treated with an arthrodesis, but still there are many people who do not get rid of the infection. Other studies show that those who have to have a second operation because of an infection are less satisfied than those who have to have their knee joint changed because the prosthesis has come loose or become worn", she says.
Therefore it is important that the healthcare service does its utmost to avoid infection in the wound. This means having good ventilation in the operating theatre, ensuring the doors are tightly closed, and ensuring that preventive antibiotics are given at exactly the right time before the operation.
"It is also important to be observant of wound complications. If an infection is discovered in time, it is possible to open the wound and clean out the bacteria before they have had chance to spread. Newly operated patients should have a 'VIP lane' so that they can go straight to the hospital orthopaedics department and not have to go via primary care", says Anna Stefánsdóttir.
In Ms Stefánsdóttir's view, re-operations due to infection should be centralised to specialist units, because they require such close cooperation between orthopaedists and infectious disease specialists.
Nowadays, there are orthopaedics clinics that only carry out one such operation a year, which makes it more difficult to establish the right routines.
The thesis is entitled "The infected knee arthroplasty" and will be defended on 9 December.
Anna Stefánsdóttir | EurekAlert!
Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences