At the most recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, author Dr. Kevin Bozic outlined factors associated with increased risk of infection in Medicare patients undergoing total knee replacement. They reviewed data on 83,000 Medicare patients who underwent primary total knee between 1997 and 2007. They found independent risk factors associated with a joint infection included a history of congestive heart failure, a history of pulmonary disease, patients who have anemia preoperatively, patients with diabetes, and patients with depression.
If patients have these conditions, it is important that they discuss with their primary care provider getting these conditions under as good a control as possible prior to undergoing joint replacement.
—William P. Barrett, MD