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Infection After Knee Surgery

Infection After Knee Surgery

If your knee becomes infected after surgery, it is vitally important medical professionals treat the problem without delay. If there is a failure to do so, you could be in a position to claim for medical negligence.

How does a knee become infected after surgery?

All surgery runs the risk of post-operative infection. This is because the tissue has been exposed and manipulated with foreign objects, thereby giving bacteria greater opportunity to enter the body. This risk is particularly high with operations such as knee replacement surgery because it is difficult for the body to attack bacteria attached to the metal or plastic implant.

Infection can occur even if everything is kept sterile. So unless it can be proven that medical professionals did not follow the necessary safety precautions or maintain a high standard of hygiene, the incident itself will not be considered negligent.

Treating a post-operative knee infection

It is essential that the infection is noticed by doctors and nurses as soon as symptoms start to develop. These will include the knee looking red and feeling hot to the touch, pain, fever and stiffness in the joint.

These are very characteristic signs of a knee infection and they should be readily identified by the attending doctors and nurses, who should be checking a patient's surgical wound on a regular basis. If there is a suspicion that a knee surgery patient has an infection, no time should be wasted in administering antibiotics. Swabs and blood tests should be sent to the laboratory for testing to check what type of bacteria is causing the infection. Treatment can then be given accordingly.

Delayed diagnosis of a post-operative knee infection

As long as a post-operative knee infection is diagnosed without much of a delay, a patient should not suffer any further complications. But the longer an infection is left, the further it will spread and the more damage it will cause.

A widespread infection in the knee will significantly hinder the recovery process, causing additional pain and suffering. In some cases, a patient will be left with long-term mobility problems. This will make knee surgery a completely pointless exercise, as a patient may find he is in a worse position than before the operation was performed.

Claiming for a delayed diagnosis of post-operative knee infection

If you have been left with complications because your knee infection was not picked up after an operation, you will be considered the innocent victim of medical negligence. This means you will be entitled to make a medical negligence claim for compensation.

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