Many patients are concerned about how to care for their total knee replacement surgical incision once they go home from the hospital. Total knee replacements demand strong wound closure and staples have always been an ideal closure technique. Staples should remain in place for at least two weeks and during that time care by the patient, family, and attending health care providers is necessary to prevent infection. A normal post-operative total knee replacement knee and leg is almost always swollen, warm to the touch, and even red. While we respect primary care and emergency room doctors, they often mistakenly believe infections are present when what they are seeing is post-operative inflammation- a normal response to the surgical procedure. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed and are usually unnecessary.
Infections are uncommon. Our goal is to make them nonexistent with the use of advanced wound care techniques in our practice. Dr. Bryan uses Mepilex® Advanced wound dressings that are applied at surgery and remain in place until the patient returns for their first post-operative visit. The soft, waterproof dressing maintains a moist wound environment, by absorbing and retaining fluids from the wound into a foam-like material that releases silver ions with antimicrobial properties into the wound. This provides quick and sustained infection prevention. Altogether, this gives the wound an optimal healing environment. Since these dressings can stay on until return to the office, the patient and home care providers no longer have to concern themselves with wound care and can concentrate on other more important factors such as physical therapy and returning to their active lifestyle.