| 13 comments ]

Bird Fans, I was hospitalized on Saturday, September 5, 2009 with a severe, life threatening Staph Infection (Staphylococcus aureus) directly localized in my left knee. Doctors drained a huge amount of thick, orange/pink pussy fluid out of my knee, put me on heavy pain killers and antibiotics. Soon later, they were operating on my knee, cleaning out all of the infection.

Just like with my DVT, I am a reasonably healthy triathlete, swimmer, cyclist, and runner. To get a life threatening infection, out of the blue, is weird.

I now know that the infection, while very serious, avoided many serious complications. The infection stayed outside of the knee joint, maintaining the integrity of my knee. It stayed out of my blood stream, and it was a relatively treatable strain of Staph.

Here's a pre-surgery picture of my knee. Notice how swollen the left knee is.

I don't know how I got the infection. Was it a bump that I hadn't noticed? A cut that allowed the bacteria to get in? Did I pick it up at the gym, the pool, or school? Who knows.

I didn't notice any problems in my knee until the middle of the day on Friday, September 4. I felt a slight pain on the knee, as if I had bumped it, although I couldn't remember bumping my knee. As the day went on, the knee felt more sore, and it began to swell. When I went to bed Friday night, it was difficult to walk. I tossed and turned until early Saturday morning, as the increasing pain made it difficult to sleep. When I finally stood up around 4am, the pain was incredible. I drove directly to the emergency room, where my treatment began.

Here's the knee after surgery. It took a pretty long incision to clean it out.

The surgeon told me that my knee had been infected for a long time. He says I am lucky to have caught and treated the infection when I did.

I am recovering well. I can comfortably walk short distances already, and hopefully the knee should be full strength within a few weeks. I have one month worth of oral and IV antibiotics.

Any other athletes out there with experience having Staph infections? Has anyone had one directly in a joint, like I did? If you're an athlete, triathlete, gym rat, swimmer, runner, cyclist, or active person who picked up a staph infection, let me know. Leave a comment below!

13 comments

Anonymous said... @ September 27, 2009 at 5:19 PM

YES,
MY HUSBAND IS A FORMER WORLD CLASS ATHLETE. HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE US WEIGHTLIFTING TEAM MANY YEARS AGO AND HAS CONTINUED TO FOCUS ON ATHLETIC ENDEVOURS.
HE IS CURRENTLY HOSPITALIZED, IN ISOLATION WITH A SEVERE STAFF INFECTION OF THE KNEE

Janelle said... @ December 9, 2010 at 2:18 AM

Sure would like a follow up a year later now that it is December, 2010. The son of a friend of mine is one week into the hospital with a knee staff infection. I saw a blog of three who have had continuing difficulties following a staff infection of the knee.
Janelle

Velayutham said... @ December 31, 2010 at 3:37 PM

I am a diabetes patient and had done open heart surgery 15 years back.I am currently hospitalized with swollen right knee and the same problem.they already did surgery and took the fluid out and found that staph aureus is the bacteria that caused this.if you can email me your contact number that would be great my email I'd is mani.velayutham@gmail.com.I am expecting to talk with you. Take care have a great day thanks in advance

judsi24 said... @ October 5, 2012 at 12:46 AM

I experienced the same thing in sept 2003. I also had staph aureus of unknown origin. In 2008 I had a knee replacement in the same joint. Now I am facing a possible staph infection in my artificial joint. I would like to hear from anyone that has had staph in tkr.

judsi24 said... @ October 5, 2012 at 12:48 AM

I experienced the same thing in sept 2003. I also had staph aureus of unknown origin. In 2008 I had a knee replacement in the same joint. Now I am facing a possible staph infection in my artificial joint. I would like to hear from anyone that has had staph in tkr.

winningisgame24 said... @ April 1, 2013 at 10:32 PM

I picked it up in my right knee it started the day after I ran a run for football 3.1 miles. I wasn't trained and my orthopedic told me the exact same thing and happened pretty much the same method yours was. I will never know how it happened but it was a long 2 months of recovery!!!!

Lee said... @ June 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM

I had an arthroscopy on the 27th March 13. Two days later a Klebsiella infection put into my knee. A month in hospital, four further visits in theatre, I am on week 12 tomorrow, still cannot work or walk unaided. My knee is still huge, I cannot get a full leg extension or bend more than 90 degrees. I have tried four solicitors and all have declined to take the case on. Any suggestions please. Regards Lee. elinkendall@live.co.uk

Lee said... @ June 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM

I had an arthroscopy on the 27th March 13. Two days later a Klebsiella infection put into my knee. A month in hospital, four further visits in theatre, I am on week 12 tomorrow, still cannot work or walk unaided. My knee is still huge, I cannot get a full leg extension or bend more than 90 degrees. I have tried four solicitors and all have declined to take the case on. Any suggestions please. Regards Lee. elinkendall@live.co.uk

Unknown said... @ September 13, 2013 at 1:07 AM

My son is currently being treated for staph in his knee. He fell down in gravel about 6 weeks ago and a watched his knee up good. They say now that there may be gravel pieces embedded in his knee. He has been playing tackle footbs until today when he said it was too painful to run. He has surgery in 10 days. After the antibiotics kick in. Scared for my 11 year old after reading so much on the Internet.

Play hard! said... @ October 6, 2013 at 7:42 AM

Hello, I am just going through the same type of infection. it happened after a knee scope surgery. a week after the surgery the got infected. it took 3 visits to ER before they realized it was staph infection. They operated twice to clean out the joint. I am in antibiotics until end of this month. the knee is still fairly swollen and painful. how long will it take to be back to normal?

Dixie Testa said... @ December 22, 2015 at 1:11 AM

I had an out of the blue knee infection exactly like yours In October 2015 except mine was h influenza. No prior surgery or fall or any skin issues. We have no idea how it got in there. I am also athletic and was putting in 50 miles a week on the treadmill - don't know the correlation but it sucks!

The ER drained 80 ccs of pus from the right knee and was admitted to the hospital for 2 weeks. Two cleanout surgeries and picc line inserted so that I could continue IV antibiotics until the end of Novembet. It's been 9 weeks and I still can't walk normally. Even worse, every time I get a headache or any symptom, I panic and think the infection is back..,,, but in my brain or blood.


I'm hoping PT continues to help my ROM- I'm not even at 90 degrees yet because my leg had to stay still and straight until the infection was completely gone.


If you have anything to help or share or have words of encouragement I can be reached at dtesta66@gmail.com

Kim Nevius said... @ December 23, 2015 at 7:23 PM

I had knee surgery in 2011, out patient, and within a week I was in the hosptial with a Staph infection and blood clot. Was in the hospital for a week that involved a second surgery on my knee, a IV line inserted into my arm and 4 days of pain without sleep. Once home I had to give myself two shots per day in my stomach (blood thinner) and give myself two IV's daily for six weeks. Arm became infected from IV line and had to return to hospital to have another line inserted. 12 weeks total recovery time.

Aaron Foster said... @ December 27, 2015 at 9:12 PM

Staph infection is deadly, and should be treated as soon as possible, it usually begins as a small area of tenderness, swelling and redness. Herbal Medicine is the best for this infection, I have finally been cured of staph. If you have staph, don't be discourage, stop using Western medicine and embrace herbal product or contact directly Jack for help. (drjack430@gmail.com)

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