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Infection After Knee Surgery

Infection After Knee Surgery

Knee surgery carries several risks, one of which is post-operative infection. This must be diagnosed and treated immediately, or the infection will spread and further surgery will be required.

Post-operative infection after knee surgery

Infection is a possible complication of any operation as it gives bacteria the opportunity to enter the body and multiply. Knee surgery is no exception to this rule, and it is possible that a patient will develop an infection in their knee after the operation. This can happen to anyone, although there are certain factors that increase the risk, including:-

  • Diabetes;
  • Obesity;
  • Old age;
  • Poor nutrition;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

Diagnosing an infection after knee surgery

If a patient does develop a post-operative infection, their knee will become inflamed and the surrounding skin will become red and hot to touch. The surgical wound may begin to discharge fluid and a patient will begin to feel unwell with a fever.

If a patient who has recently undergone knee surgery starts to display these symptoms, medical professionals should immediately suspect the presence of infection. A blood test will reveal whether there is a high white blood cell count, something which indicates an infection. A swab of the wound should also be sent to the laboratory for testing.

As soon as a post-operative infection is suspected, a patient should be started on intravenous antibiotics. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, medical professionals should monitor the problem closely. If antibiotics do not resolve the situation, it may be that the wound has become deeply infected. In this case the knee may need to be drained of pus, or if the infection is severe, further surgery carried out.

Delayed diagnosis of infection after knee surgery

If further surgery is required, questions must be raised as to why the infection was not treated in the early stages before the wound became deeply infected. Was it because medical professionals failed to diagnose the infection, mistaking it for the normal after-effects of surgery?

If so, there will be a case of medical negligence as any reasonably competent medical professional should be able to diagnose and treat a post-operative knee infection in a timely fashion. A failure to do so will amount to a substandard level of care. A patient will therefore be entitled to claim compensation for the pain and suffering caused, and the inconvenience of having to undergo a second (and possibly third) procedure.

To find out more about claiming compensation for infection after knee surgery, get in touch with us today.

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