What Patients Should Know About Preventing Infection During and After Joint Replacement Surgery

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A common concern of patients facing joint replacement surgery is the risk of infection either during or after the procedure.  And rightly so, as even though there have been great advances in surgical techniques, infection remains a challenge.  Bacteria in our bodies usually are well controlled by our immune system, however, every precaution must be taken to prevent an infection from occurring when a prosthetic implant is introduced.

At the Leone Center for Orthopedic Care, we follow a strict regimen before, during and after surgery that provides the best possible outcome and helps prevent infection.

Part of our consultation is devoted to the pre- and post-operative care that we have designed to keep our patients healthy.  Anyone considering joint replacement surgery should speak with the surgeon and find out everything about the procedure, including what is done during the operation to prevent an infection from occurring.

Also, be sure and ask your doctor about his or her patient infection rate after performing joint replacement surgery.  I am please to say that my complication and readmission rates are three times less than my peer orthopedic surgeons throughout the country, according to Premier, a company that collects and compares health care data.  This data first became available to me in 2007 and now has been formally published.
Here are the steps we take at the Leone Center for Orthopedic Care to prevent infection before, during and after joint replacement surgery:

  • Patients are instructed to cleanse the operative site and limb the evening before and the morning of surgery with a special soap.
  • Antibiotics are prescribed for all patients prior to, during and after the procedure.
  • We counsel our patients to follow a nutritional pre-operative diet rich in iron and vitamin C to boost the immune system.
  • At the Leone Center for Orthopedic Care, all procedures are performed in Laminar Flow operating theaters which are equipped with ventilation that reduces the possibility of infection.
  • The entire surgical team wears body exhaust suits to further protect patients.
  • The experience of the entire Leone Center team facilitates minimal operation time which also reduces the risk of infection.
  • All of my surgical incisions are meticulously closed with a single stitch rather than staples, resulting in a tighter wound seal.
  • A special sterile dressing is applied that “breathes” during surgery. The result is an incision that looks like it was closed by a plastic surgeon. It also reflects my attention to detail beneath the incision.
  • I use surgical techniques to specifically address optimal and gentle soft tissue handling and balancing during both hip and knee replacements, including robotics, computer navigation and the Pelvic Alignment Level instrument, which I invented.

Lastly, experience is a major factor. I have performed thousands of successful surgeries during my more than 20-year career. Among my recognitions, Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd., a national healthcare research firm that identifies top doctors and best practices in the American medical profession has named me a Florida “Top Orthopedic Surgeon” for three consecutive years, 2010-2012.

Working with your surgeon to prepare for your surgery and following all post-operative instructions can help you achieve the best outcome for joint replacement.