After joint surgery, you are at a higher risk of infection, as your incision and the new joint in your body are especially sensitive to bacteria that other parts of your body could easily fight off.

How to spot it

If you notice any of the following, call your doctor.

  • Fever

  • Shaking and chills

  • Sudden or abnormal tenderness or swelling

  • Increased pain in a joint that was functioning well

  • Drainage from the wound after several days of healing

Prevention tips

Take all medications prescribed by your doctor and do not stop taking them, even if you begin to feel relief. Wash your hands often, especially before and after changing your bandages. And if you are about to have major dental work—even if it’s years after your surgery—tell your doctor, as he or she might prescribe antibiotics as a safety measure.