At the recent meeting of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, November 8th through 9th in Dallas, Texas, several papers were reported on infection and complication rates after joint replacement. A paper by Steve Kurtz, PhD, looked at a Medicare national sample database and found that the infection rate after total hip replacement was 1.6% and 1.9% after total knee replacement. Risk factors for infection included, medical co-morbidities such as congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Other factors that have been found to increase the risk of infection include obesity and diabetes. Complications such as infection significantly increase the healthcare dollar expenditure and pain and suffering for the patient and the physician.
At Valley Medical Center, our infection rate for hip and knee replacement is 0.8%, below the national average.