So, your surgery is done and now is the time to focus on rehab and getting back to normal strength and range of motion. Following some surgeries, rehab progress can be slowed by surgical incision site infection (SISI). Prior to surgery or post-surgery, it is important to have some knowledge on exactly what surgical site infection is and some signs/symptoms of it so that you can catch it early. It is important to know that if a surgical site does become infected, do not panic, it will be ok and can be treated with medications. That being said, the sooner you let your Doctor know the better.
While SISI’s are rare (2-5% of surgeries performed), any time the skin is cut open, there is a risk of infection. While infections can be treated with medications such as antibiotics, it is important to spot them early so your Doctor can start to treat it as soon as possible. Typically, SISI’s occur within 30 days of the surgery being performed, but can happen up to 1-year post surgery (especially if an implant was used such as total knee/hip).
Signs and Symptoms that may indicate infection:
Usually with a surgical site infection, more than 1 of the symptoms listed above will be present. If that is the case, it is advised that you contact your Doctor immediately. If unable to contact your Doctor or their team it may be advised to go to the ER or urgent care to get the wound checked out.
Tips on How to Prevent Surgical Site Infections:
Notify your doctor
Again, if you think you are having any signs/symptoms of surgical site infection, it is important to notify your Doctors office immediately so that they can check it out ASAP and get you started on the necessary medications.