I am going to have a total knee replacement in two weeks. The doctor explained the operation to me. There will be an antibiotic mixed in with the cement that's used to hold the new part in place. Is this experimental?
The use of antibiotics mixed with cement for total joint replacements has been around for over 30 years. Some doctors use this with every patient. Others reserve its use for joint infections or failed first operations. A group of doctors at NYU (New York University) reviewed all of the studies done on this topic. They found that there isn't one method used and approved by all doctors. The FDA (Food and Drug Association) doesn't take a stand on the use of antibiotics in cement. It's only experimental in that researchers continue to study the problem. They are looking for a product that can be mixed into the cement without changing the cement's strength. Future cements with drugs mixed in will have a slow release of the antibiotic. This will help lower the infection rate, too.