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Date: 16 Dec 2000
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
My name is Karen and I'm 32 years old. I'm the mother of three young boys. I had initial hip replacements 10 years ago. In May of 2000 I ended up with an open ulcer on my left leg. After several months of going to various doctors, I finally found one who diagnosed my problem as a deep bone infection in my left hip prosthesis. My only option was to undergo surgery to have my old prosthesis completely removed. This took some doing since the type of prosthesis that I had was virtually impossible to remove. My doctor compared it to ripping velco up instead of apart. It took my doctor 3 1/2 hours to cut my femur apart to make a hinge where he could open in up in order to chisel the old hardware out of my leg. He then wired the femur back together and put a temporary spacer in to hold everything together. The surgery took almost 5 hours, required 9 units of transfused blood and a week in the hospital. It also requires me to be non weight bearing for 6 months while the femur heals completely and the infection is eradicated. I have a central line in my chest and give myself IV antibiotics twice each day. I will return to the doctor after 8 weeks on the IV antibiotics to see if I can stop the IV and just continue on oral antibiotics. After 6 months I will undergo another surgery to have another permanent replacement put in, as long as the infection is completely gone. The type of infection I have is staph, but they are not sure what caused it. It could be from just about any infection in my body! Possibly an infected root canal or an infected ingrown toenail. If anyone has a similar experience and would like to write to me, I'd be happy to hear from you.