Partial Knee Replacement(s) with infections and swelling for 1 year

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi from across the "Pond".

My wife's surgeries are really getting tiresome but Anne is a real trouper through all this.

Over the last year+:

Started with PKR with the complication of one of the closing staples deciding to find its way around the back of her knee some place and lodge. Also he removed a large cyst under the skin that left a big hole under the skin.

Surgeon didn't like the wayward staple and the fact that the wound was draining for so long so he thought he would go in and open the knee and clean out the operated area and start her on IV Ancef for a month. Couldn't get to the staple so he said: "Don't worry about it, people live with foreign objects in their bodies with no ill effects."

After the month, as things were getting better, her knee swelled up, turned red and became infected so he went in again and cleaned everything out, packed the wound with drug eluting beads and another round of IV Ancef for a month then oral cephalexin for about 3 months.

Things were looking good, went to Israel and walked all over the place, came home. Stopped the cephalexin and the knee got infected again!

Surgeon opened up the knee for the fourth time and took out the partial that was working so well (3 hour operation) fearing that there was some bug lurking on the partial. Closed up the hole that he created when he removed the cyst. Put in oversized, drug eluting wafers and more beads and stapled her up again and now we are finishing up 7+ weeks of Vancomycin. I should mention that they have never been able to culture any organism from repeated testing.

Now it's been almost 8 weeks since the last surgery and her knee was just slightly oozing and draining from a small hole for about 4 weeks. Then two weeks ago it started really pouring out to the extent that we have to change a very padded dressing twice a day. 

As soon as Anne is better, he wants to go in and to a TKR. We are going to get a second opinion as soon as we see the doctor again so we can ask him for a referral (no one will see my wife without one).

My question is: Is 7+ weeks of draining unusual? The doctor doesn't think so. nb

I'm wondering if that staple is causing all the problems and reinfections, etc.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over-and-over and expecting different results. This seems to be what we are doing.

The doctor says this is the first time in 14 years of doing this that he's ever had to replace a partial knee that became infected. He also says that this is the first time he, or any of his colleagues, have ever seen a wayward staple. This kind of makes me wonder if the two are related.

I'm thinking there are people out there that have gone through similar problems that could provide some advice?

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Oh my goodness! Such an awful story. I'm so sorry I cannot offer any help or advice but just wanted to offer my sympathy. I have had a partial on both knees and what your wife has and is going through is terrible. It just doesn't bare thinking about.  I hope someone on this forum can be of assistance to you.

    I wish you both good luck and your wife a speedy recovery. 

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  • Posted

    OMG, your poor wife!  Her own personal horror story😩

    firstly, if I were you, I’d be collecting together all the paper work of the operations, X-rays, scans etc and taking them to a Solicitor for a malpractice suit.  It’s got to be the Surgeon/ hospitals fault.  They’ve already admitted the rogue staple, hitch more than likely, was dropped and not counted.  I can’t fathom how so much could go wrong for her.  It’s beyond awful.  Please do, have the 2nd opinion.  It can only help.  Whether it’s to help fix the problem or for your suit.

    When I had my bilateral tkr’s, I had a big bleed, needed a blood transfusion, was overloaded and both my lungs collapsed with hospital pneumonia.  I thought that was bad enough.  Nothing, NOTHING like your poor wife.  I’m glad you’re a supportive husband and looking after her, she needs your someone on her side.  It’s’ a wonder she’s not a screaming wreck!  So, so horrible.

    please give your wife my best wishes and positive thoughts for a good recovery.

    Sue xx

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  • Posted


    The drain is usually in the wound for a matter of a few days at the most, not months.   I am close to tears over this whole horror story.  She’s such a strong woman.

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  • Posted

    My sympathies to your wife. What a horror show. I think you should get a second opinion  I can’t imagine where that staple has gone to.  I have never heard draining going on for that long. 

    Keep us informed about your wife’s progress.

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  • Posted

    Oh my word Robert! Your poor wife! She's really been through the wringer!!

    I can only add to what everyone else has said. Defo get another opinion!

    I have not heard of draining lasting this long, I never had any drain after either of my TKRs!

    As to the staple? How on earth does a staple end up at the BACK of the knee! It does not make sense! Think about it, the operation site is being closed at the front of the knee?? Does not compute to me! 

    As a lay person, I do think how can the staple NOT be responsible for all the 'infections' your wife has had! Sorry but any foreign body can cause problems, maybe even allergies to whatever the staple is made of! 

    How can this have been left to fester for a whole YEAR! 

    Get another specialist to look at the notes. You need an unbiased opinion! You may have grounds to sue!

    But the abiding need for the foreseeable future is to get your wife better! Nothing must get in the way of that.

    Please give your wife my best wishes.

    I wish you both well



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