Infection Following Joint Replacement Treated at Mercy


The orthopedic surgeons at Mercy are dedicated to providing comprehensive treatment for joint replacement, including pre- and post-surgical care through recovery. 

About the Condition

Joint replacement surgeries are some of the most common procedures performed. Only a small percentage of patients will develop an infection after surgery. An infection can happen either at the skin level or internally at the joint. An infection can develop shortly after surgery in the surgical site or years later from bacteria in another area of the body that has traveled to the joint implant.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

The most common symptoms of an infection in the joint are:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swelling/redness at joint or surgery site
  • Night sweating
  • Drainage at surgery site
  • Fatigue
  • Increased pain/stiffness in repaired joint

When diagnosing an infection, the doctor will perform a physical exam and order other tests to determine the extent of the infection. Other tests may include:

  • Blood test
  • X-ray/MRI
  • Joint aspiration (procedure to remove fluid around a joint for pain relief or testing)
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Treatment Options

After assessing the extent of the infection, the orthopedic specialist will work with the patient to determine the best course of treatment. Depending on the severity of the infection, surgical or non-surgical treatment may be recommended. Oral antibiotics, debridement (removal of infected tissue) or additional surgery may be required to remove the infection.