I had a hip joint replacement last month and got a nasty infection in the joint. Does this come from the operating room?
The infection rate after a joint replacement is very low (less than 2 per cent). Modern operating rooms have a special laminar airflow system that has reduced the infection rate. The source of infection after an operation isn’t easy to trace. It’s possible, though unlikely, that the tools used in the operation weren’t sterile. Sometimes, staff in the operating room don’t use completely sterile methods. This can result in an infection. There can be a wide range of patient factors that can lead to such an infection. For example, anyone with diabetes or a weak immune system is just more susceptible to infection. A history of alcohol or drug abuse puts a patient at increased risk of infection. Bacteria from another infection can invade the joint. This could be from a bladder or kidney infection. Often, the cause remains unknown.