Post-operative infection after joint replacement surgery is rare but is a realistic concern for many people. Before you have surgery, there are ways to keep your controllable risk factors low and increase your chances at a successful joint replacement.
Manage Your Weight
Being overweight does not disqualify you from having a joint replacement; however, excess body weight can increase your risk of a post-operative infection. Ideally, you should develop an eating plan that you can maintain long-term to shed excess pounds, even when exercise is not possible. Post-operatively, your diet is even more important, since you may be more sedentary while your joint is healing. To help prevent weight gain or to lose weight before and after your joint replacement, formulate meals that are satisfying without unnecessary calories. Bulking up your meals with additional vegetables, beans, and whole grains can help minimize hunger without adding many simple carbohydrates.
Avoid Dental Work
The risks associated with extensive dental work and joint replacements are debatable, but it is up to you and your doctor to determine the safest strategy. Speak with your surgeon to determine the ideal time frame to avoid extensive dental work before and after your surgery. If you have urgent dental needs, such as a tooth extraction, have the procedure done promptly to allow enough healing time before your joint replacement surgery.
Dental work can make you more susceptible to infections that can eventually affect your new joint. If there is an emergency dental problem around the time of your joint replacement, discuss the possibility to taking prophylactic antibiotics. You may want to avoid simple dental procedures, such as cleanings or teeth whitening, around the time of your joint replacement to err on the side of caution.
Check Your Numbers
You will have pre-operative blood work in the days leading up to surgery to ensure you do not have an obvious problems that would contribute to complications during surgery. However, it is a good idea to have tests performed several weeks before your scheduled surgery so you have time to discuss the results with your general practitioner. You want to make sure you have not developed hypertension or diabetes, especially if you have not been tested within the last year.
If you currently have a chronic disease, you have the opportunity to determine if your current treatment plan is keeping the problem under control. Underlying chronic diseases, especially poorly-controlled diabetes, can significantly increase your risk of post-operative infections. Knowing your test results early can give you the opportunity to make changes to your treatment regimen and avoid rescheduling your surgery at the last minute.
Getting a post-operative infection could derail the healing process of your new joint. By taking simple precautions before and after your joint replacement surgery, you can drastically reduce your chances of infection. For more information, contact a company like Omaha Orthopedic Clinic & Sports Medicine PC.