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Old 04-08-2013, 09:15 AM   #1
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Dental Infection and Hip Replacement

Hi all:

I have been dealing with an infected tooth (five months after hip replacement) and just thought I'd post a reminder here for all the "hipsters" that it is really important to deal with dental infections promptly if you have had a hip replacement. (And, important to take your antibiotics before dental procedures).

I went to doctor's for a sinus infection early in January and although I was treated with antibiotics, it wouldn't go away. In Feb, I went to the dentist and she took some x-rays and said it might be a tooth, so she sent me to a periodontist who confirmed that a nerve had died in a tooth that had suffered a trauma (many years ago). I had NO pain with the tooth. The nerve was decaying and causing the infection. So, two weeks ago I had the tooth pulled and am going to get an implant (so expensive!). But, I've been on antibiotics really since January. I will go back to periodontist this week for confirmation that infection is cleared up and for details about when we can go onto next stage of implant.

Bottom line, it's important to track down infections and treat them quickly. In this case, I had no dental pain, just a sinus infection that wouldn't clear up. But infection travels throughout the body and if it had not been detected who knows what could have happened. It's rare, I think, but still a danger.

According to my doctor, a common cause of infection following hip replacement surgery is from bacteria that enter the bloodstream during dental procedures, urinary tract infections, or skin infections.


Warning signs of a possible hip replacement infection:
•Persistent fever (higher than 100°F orally)
•Shaking chills
•Increasing redness, tenderness, or swelling of the hip wound
•Drainage from the hip wound
•Increasing hip pain with both activity and rest

Maggie

 
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:33 AM   #2
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Re: Dental Infection and Hip Replacement

GREAT post!

It's so essential to premedicate one hour before a dental procedure.

 
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
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Re: Dental Infection and Hip Replacement

Hi larimergirl:
So glad to hear that your sinus infection has finally been cleared up. And thanks for reminding everyone of how important it is to take your anti biotic before any dental procedure, even cleaning and exam. (One gets the prescription from the dentist.) I forgot to take the anti biotic one time and the dentist had some on hand.Had that not been so they would have sent me home without doing anything.

As for dental implants - my daughter has a couple of them and has been very satisfied. It is a long procedure and $$$$$ but she says it is worth it.
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Had two hip replacements about a year apart - the last one being August 2009.

 
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:58 PM   #4
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Re: Dental Infection and Hip Replacement

It is going to take forever--but the tooth is a front tooth--and so worth the time and money to replace! I am tired of taking antibiotics though and hope that my periodontist finds that the infection cleared up at appointment on Thursday . I admit I am a little paranoid about infections and the hip.

 
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:42 PM   #5
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Re: Dental Infection and Hip Replacement

What happens to the new hip when one gets infected from a tooth?

 
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:20 AM   #6
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Re: Dental Infection and Hip Replacement

It's my understanding that first line of treatment would be with antibiotics.
But, the reason infections are such a significant problem is that bacteria cannot be easily eliminated from a joint replacement implant. Despite excellent antibiotics and preventative treatments, I understand that patients with a joint replacement infection often will require removal of the implanted joint in order to cure the infection. So worst case scenario is hospitalization, removal of implant to let infection clear followed by new surgery for new implant.

My surgeon says this is rare--but he stresses need to be vigilant about infections and, of course, to take antibiotics before invasive dental work--including dental cleanings.

Last edited by Larimergirl; 04-15-2013 at 07:22 AM.

 
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:31 AM   #7
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Re: Dental Infection and Hip Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larimergirl View Post
It's my understanding that first line of treatment would be with antibiotics.
But, the reason infections are such a significant problem is that bacteria cannot be easily eliminated from a joint replacement implant. Despite excellent antibiotics and preventative treatments, I understand that patients with a joint replacement infection often will require removal of the implanted joint in order to cure the infection. So worst case scenario is hospitalization, removal of implant to let infection clear followed by new surgery for new implant.

My surgeon says this is rare--but he stresses need to be vigilant about infections and, of course, to take antibiotics before invasive dental work--including dental cleanings.
Hi larimergirl:

Thanks for relaying that information from your hip surgeon. It reminds us all that we must be very vigilant about avoiding infections and treating them promply if they do occur.
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