The Elephant in the Room

Total knee arthroplasty also known as a knee replacement has been an amazing break through procedure. We are able to perform this operation when the smooth articular cartilage is worn off the bones surfaces and the bones are grinding on one another causing pain and stiffness.  The knee arthroplasty replaces the smooth surfaces of the knee and patients are able to function without pain and enjoying a much more active lifestyle.  All surgeries, no matter how successful, do have risks of complications and one, but major, complication of a knee arthroplasty is infection.  Infection is the elephant in the room that no one likes to talk about but it happens in approximately 0.5% of knee replacements.  This is only one out of two hundred but it is devastating and we need to bring the number to zero if we can.

The joint replacement team at The Los Angeles Orthopaedic Institute strives to avoid infection at all costs.  We have our patients take pre-operative cleanses with Chlorhexidine Gluconate (Hibiclens) prior to the surgery to clean the skin.

We also have the patients clean the nostrils with Mupirocin (Bactroban) which sterilzes the nasal passages.  The nostrils have been recognized to harbor staphylococcus which is the primary bacteria that cause knee infections.

In addition, all of our patients receive intra-operative antibiotics and our surgeons are among the fastest to perform the surgery in Los Angeles as it has been recognized that the infection rate goes down if the surgery is performed quickly.  We do more knee replacements than any other group in the valley and our times are the quickest as well.

We are proud of the fact we have one of the lowest infection rates in Los Angeles and we strive every day to get our infections to ZERO.

We look forward to seeing you in the future to discuss our ZERO infection campaign and we look forward to caring for you and your friends and families.

Keep moving!

Dr. Sisto

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