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What are the statistics for infection in HIV patients with knee replacements
Jan 27, 2006

My husband has hiv and needs a knee replacement. The 2 orthopedic surgeons have said it's risky to knee replacement in HIV patients because of the high risk of infection years down the line. Can you tell me where I can find statistic on recent studies. We were told that there is a 1 in 3 chance that my husband will have problems down the line with infections. The doctors seem hesitant to operate and this is scaring us. The doctors recommended a knee fusion, but my husband is only 53. Is a joint replacement just to risky? Please I need some statistic that are recent, the drugs for HIV are more affective than in the past, has this changed the risk any?

Response from Dr. Henry

I have not seen data that suggests that HIV+ patients are at that high of a risk for post-op infections. I have had numerous HIV+ patients undergo joint replacement surgery (and many other types of surgery including coronary bypass and transplants) and increasingly they are doing better and better. Particularly if the HIV is under reasonable control (low viral load and CD4 count >> 200) patients do well with surgery. Your HIV specialist might know of a local HIV friendly bone surgeon. KH



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