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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 93-98

Postoperative pyrexia after arthroplasty - when to panic ?

Department Of Orthopaedics, PD Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanjay Agarwala
PD Hinduja Hospital, Mahim, Mumbai -400 016
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.36781

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Background: Success of arthroplasty is contingent on a clear understanding of the potential complications. Today with improved methods of sepsis control, incidence of joint sepsis has dropped to less than 2%. Despite this fever is still common in the early post-operative period. Methods: We reviewed 184 consecutive hip and knee replacement surgeries for incidence and clinical significance of post-operative fever. The cases were followed up for a period of over 3 to 5 years. Temperature charts up to 6 th postoperative day and all investigations were reviewed to determine the cause of fever. Results: Post operative fever was recorded after 82 procedures (44.6%). The average maximum temperature occurred on post­operative day 1 (98.9 o F). Only 2 TKR got infected. Incidence of fever was higher in TKR as compared to THR. Conclusion: Post-operative fever is common and probably inflammatory. It is not an important predictive factor of joint infection. Work up for joint infection is not indicated unless other corroborative features are present. Aspiration of painful joint is a highly accurate for identifying an infection.

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