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Hip Replacement Gone Bad

Hi Moms. My father-in-law has had two hip replacements (same side) within the past 4 years. The first hip replacement ended up being faulty (long story), so he had it changed out again a little over a year ago. Everything was going well until about a week before Thanksgiving when he developed an abscess on the old incision. He ended up in the hospital to have the old incision opened and cleaned out. He is now on IV antibiotics until at least Dec. 10th (luckily the infection didn't reach the joint). Things have been going well except for the other day when that same spot became red and warm again. The doctor said, "There is NO way you could have an infection. The antibiotics are the strongest we can get."

It was revealed that the abscess that was removed was the same bacteria that is found in an abscess that develops in mouths (that a dentist would take care of). Rarely is this bacteria found ANY other place in the body than in the mouth. My father-in-law is beside himself. He is so filled with fear that he will be living this nightmare over and over again for the rest of his life (and he's only 50!). Has anyone out there experienced something like this? Can anyone offer any advice/expertise about this? He is so down. Thanks.

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I have no advice, but just wanted to say I'm sorry he's going through this. I am thinking of having my hip replaced (I'm only 40, but have bad arthritis from an old sports injury). Your father-in-law's story is making me rethink that decision! Hopefully I'm not going to the same doctor/hospital...

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Hi S.,
I have no advise, but just came back from the hospital where my mom had her hip replaced today. I hope everything works out for you.
L.

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I feel so very badly for your father-in-law. And you have so much on your plate.

Circumstances come and go but we can actively choose how we are going to respond. Why entertain the pity party he is having? Why not encourage and reward a more positive attitude? He is blessed to still be alive. He is blessed to have only that one thing wrong with him. He is blessed to have you. He is blessed to be getting better each and every day. Why is it so easy to focus on the negative but takes great effort to concentrate on the positive?

Ask him questions like what is going right today? or how many things can you be grateful for today. Let him know just how thankful you are to have him in the lives of you and your children (if that is the truth). When the doctors give there opinions, search for the positive in your mind. I wish I could just give you some more encouragement or support for what you are having to endure but know this much...trouble doesn't last always.

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Hi S.,
Just wondering what antibiotic they are giving your FIL cause I know that when bacreia become very resilient to the more common antibiotic they usually go to Bactrium I was also informed that the bacteria MRSA is coming around more now then before and no reason why, make sure they do a culture
Good luck L.

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Like someone else said, it is not uncommon for bacteria in the mouth to travel to other parts of the body. Has your FIL has his teeth cleaned recently. Often people with joint and hip replacement must premedicate before going to the dentist because a dental cleaning is a goog oppurtunity for those bacteria to get into the bloodstream and travel throughout the body until they find a nice place to settle down and multiply. Anything artificial in the body is a prime spot to become a home for bacteria. That is why it is so important for everybody to practice really good oral hygiene. Your mouth is connected to the rest of your body. People tend to think of the mouth as a separate entity, but it's not.

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Hey, I am not an expert, but I am a microbiolgist. I am not sure what bacteria you are talking about, but most bacteria that is "normally" in the mouth can settle anywhere. Is it a "strep or Staph" strain? These are usually treatable with average antibiotics unless it is one of the unusual more resistant strains. (that may need IV antibiotics) My advice would be to talk to an infectious disease doctor for a second opinion. It certainly can not hurt to ask someone else to review your father in laws chart.

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I don't know a lot about hip replacement but my c-section was horribly infected about 10 months ago and I was in the hospital with IV antibiotics for 12 days. I was told it was a bacteria that is normally on the skin that got in the incision (not even very deep but the infection generated a lot of infected fluid that had to be drained). During that time I was on about 5 different antibiotics and/or antifungals (first IV and then orally). I would definitely request a consult from an infectious disease specialist. If they identified the bacteria then they should know what to use I would guess. I also took a lot of vitamins and probiotics after the infection including the vitamin D that was mentioned in another post

On another note, having a serious infection and especially a recurring one, is very scary (a wake up call about one's own mortality) as well as being really painful (my infection was much more painful than the labor or c-section). Try to be as patient and reassuring as you can. Also making sue he has plenty for friends and relatives visiting/calling may help him keep in better spirits.

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