Infection 2 years after THR

CharlieBrown
CharlieBrown Member Posts: 5
Hello

I had a THR 2 years ago, everything was going well and I only had a small amount of discomfort in the operated hip which was mainly due to bursitis around the scar.

In August I had knee realignment surgery on the same side, which has healed well and physio has resulted in the return of a full range of movement.

Two months after the knee surgery I started to have pain in the operated hip, this is slowly becoming worse and has been accompanied by a general feeling of being unwell, fatigue and weight loss.

I was referred back to the hip specialist who has done blood tests and I am now waiting for an ultrasound of the hip and a follow up appointment, the specialist thinks that the most likely explanation of my symptoms is a bacterial infection around the replacement (which is metal).

I know that you can't believe everything that you read on the internet but I am freaking out a bit as everything seems to suggest that if it is bacterial I will need weeks of IV antibiotics and they might have to remove the replacement, put in spacers then, when the infection is under control, put in a new joint.

I have read that speed is of the essence in these cases and am really concerned that many months have now passed and that due to a backlog the ultrasound won't be until the end of February, so that's yet another month without treatment.

I am considering starting a course of antibiotics just to get ahead of things, is this wise, should I try and hurry up the hospital or am I just stressing over nothing?

A bit of reassurance / advice would really be appreciated.

Thanks

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,631
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello. I'm not a member of the Helpline team just an ordinary forum member but I have 2 THRs and 2 TKRs so I can understand your concern and your wish to expedite treatment though I would caution against believing all you read on the Internet.

    Please don't take matters into your own hands. It's not a matter of getting hold of antibiotics but of getting the right kind and ones that are safe and of a consistent quality.

    Why not have a chat with your G P? He won't be able to diagnose the problem or prescribe for it but he might be able to allay your fears and /or bring forward the appointment.

    I do hope all goes well.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,548
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Charlie Brown

    Thank you for your posting and my apologies for the lateness of the reply. I am sorry this is causing you so much worry and concern. Stickywicket has responded to your concerns so well that I can add very little. I would like to emphasise though, that you should talk to a medical professional, your GP, about your concerns and also about your worries over the length of time till your next appointment so that you receive the appropriate advice about these issues.
    You can always call us here on our Freephone helpline on 0808 800 4050 (10am-4pm weekdays) if you would like to talk things through with one of our helpline team.
    I hope this is helpful.
    Best Wishes
    Dawn
  • CharlieBrown
    CharlieBrown Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your replies

    My doctor is good at giving me painkillers but not so helpful on the support side, I spoke to the hospital trying to hurry up the ultrasound appointment so that I might bring forward the clinic date but unfortunately there is a backlog and they can't even promise a scan before the clinic appointment - which I would attend scan or no scan!

    Things are deteriorating and I feel really ill alongside the hip pain, but at least we're now into February and the date is getting closer, so just struggling through until 25th arrives and I get to see my specialist.

    Limping along as they say!
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,548
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Charlie,
    Thanks for your update. Do consider telling your doctor exactly how you are feeling, if you haven’t already done so. He/she may be able to help. You may also try bringing the date of your appointment forward by telephoning the hospital, explaining your concerns and saying you’re happy to take a cancellation slot if one becomes available. You are welcomed to phone us on our free phone helpline on 0808 800 4050 (10am-4pm weekdays) to talk things through.
    If you are limping consider asking your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist.
    Best wishes,
    Ümral
  • CharlieBrown
    CharlieBrown Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi

    In August last year I had knee realignment surgery, since October I have had pain in the hip on the same side (which was replaced two years ago). The pain starts in the groin and rotates round to the back of the hip. It is specific to the hip and does not radiate down the leg but is aggravated on weight bearing and rotating inward and outward, forward movement and it is tender to the touch, waking me at night if I roll over onto it.

    I have finally seen the specialist and following tests he has ruled out an infection, bursitis, tendonitis, metal allergy and the hip replacement is still in a good position.

    He doesn't really know what the problem is but thinks it might be inflammation of the Tensor fasciae latae muscle. He has prescribed a course of ultrasound treatment and a referral to the pain management team to look at the meds I am taking. I'm going back to see him in 5 weeks time for a follow up.

    I have looked on the internet to see if I can find any information out about this and it all relates to running sites and running injuries (a bit of a joke as I've been on crutches on and off for the last five years).

    Do you know of any sites that offers information on causes, symptoms, treatment etc. that I could have a look at or have any information that might help. The information that I have read so far doesn't reflect the pain I am experiencing, the only thing that seems to relate is the pain on sleeping on it and the fact it is tender to touch.

    I need to know if there is anything I can do to speed up the healing process as I am unable to walk at the moment and can not work, which is a problem as I am self employed.

    Thank you

    Tina
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,548
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Tina,

    I'm sorry to hear that you've not been offered more supporting information. The person best placed to do that is the specialist suggesting a course of treatment. Because we are not medically qualified, the more technical the subject the harder it is to get the information right. I'd not want to complicate matters. You may be able to request further information via the medical secretaries of the consultant.

    What we are best placed to offer is a good listening ear - so I'd really encourage you to take us up on that offer, as sometimes during an informal chat you can make your own connections and decide on further steps to explore.

    We do appreciate how hard it can be to deal with an arthritis where things are unknown. That kind of uncertainty may be helped somewhat by talking it over. I just want you to know that we'd be happy to offer you some time to share how it's all going

    Kind regards

    Guy
  • CharlieBrown
    CharlieBrown Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your reply, it is good to have someone to "brainstorm" with at times. When you're in constant pain you can become a bit of a drain on the people around you as you tend to take it out on them a bit!

    I have another appointment at the end of the month so maybe I can get some more information and discuss my concerns then.

    Thanks

    Tina

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