Infection Fighting Prosthesis



Television News Service/Medical Breakthroughs #1497 ŠIvanhoe Broadcast News, Inc. October 1999  

 One in every 200 patients will develop an infection after an artificial hip or knee replacement. Until now, the answer was to remove the device, leaving patients in a wheelchair or dependent on a walker. Now, a short-term replacement helps patients in the long run.  

Walking is something Rudy Kalcich does not take for granted. It's something he couldn't do after an infection near his artificial hip replacement. Rudy was in so much pain he could barely move.

Christopher Beauchamp, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., has the solution. First, the infected prosthesis and surrounding tissue are removed. The newest advancement is that Dr. Beauchamp makes a new temporary prosthesis and adds an antibiotic to fight the infection.

Dr. Beauchamp says, "It gives treatments of the infection a better chance when we have antibiotics in higher concentration locally where the infection is."

With the infection cured, Rudy once again has a permanent hip replacement. "In the long run, it saved my life," he says. He knows that without that treatment he wouldn't be walking today.

A patient wears the temporary prosthesis for about six weeks, or until the infection is completely cleared up. Then, another permanent prosthesis is implanted.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Christopher Beauchamp, M.D. 
Mayo Clinic Scottsdale 
13400 East Shea Boulevard 
        Scottsdale, AZ 85259 
(480) 301-8273 

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