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How do you avoid infection after knee surgery?

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Quick Answer

To prevent infection post knee surgery, eat a healthy diet prior to the procedure, do not take medications that may make the body susceptible to infection and reduce tobacco use, according to About.com. The chance of developing infection following knee surgery is low, only about 1.5 percent in the first two years.

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Infections following knee-replacement surgery may occur due to the surgical procedure, other infections in the body or for unknown reasons, explains About.com. Some patients are more susceptible to these infections than others, and those who have diabetes, malnutrition or rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of developing infection. Others who may be more at risk for developing infections following knee surgery include smokers, obese people, alcoholics and those who use steroids. Doctors give patients antibiotics within an hour of finishing surgery.

If infection occurs following knee-replacement surgery, it typically appears within weeks or months, states About.com. To treat these infections, a doctor may perform surgery to clean the area and then prescribe antibiotic therapy for about six weeks to treat and prevent the infection from worsening. If the infection occurs several months after surgery, it may be more difficult to treat. These infections may even occur years after the surgery, and treatment usually includes removing the implant and treating the infection.

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