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OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee Surgeons Establish Periprosthetic Joint Infection Center

Thomas Fehring MD, hip and knee surgeon with the OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee Center in Charlotte, has launched the OrthoCarolina Periprosthetic Joint Infection Center along with fellow hip and knee surgeons Brian Curtin, MD, Bryan Springer, MD, Keith Fehring, MD and Jesse Otero, MD. Created to help people with complex problems that don’t have a good local solution, it is the only dedicated joint infection center currently in the United States.

“Our entire physician team within the center has extensive experience treating prosthetic knee and hip infections, including developing decision-making protocols for each patient while following and validating their outcome measures,” said Dr. Thomas Fehring.

Infections that involve a joint replacement are considered unusual and can be highly difficult to treat. Because of their infrequency, orthopedic surgeons may only treat one or two infection cases a year. Therefore, care at a dedicated center treating a large number of patients helps optimize patient outcomes. The large volume of patients referred to OrthoCarolina allows the opportunity to determine which treatments and protocols are most effective.

As the Periprosthetic Infection Center continues to grow, it will continue to facilitate research on total joint infections. At present the Periprosthetic Joint Infection Center continues to research new total joint infection treatment options. They recently initiated a multicenter study to determine if infected joints can be removed and restored to the body on the same day, and are investigating treating infection through the use of a novel antibiotic delivery system.

“It takes a team approach to treat these difficult cases successfully,” said Dr. Thomas Fehring. “Our team includes five arthroplasty surgeons, two plastic surgeons, a team of experienced infectious disease consultants as well as a research support staff.”

The OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee Center also received the prestigious George C. Cierny III Award at the Musculoskeletal Infection Society (MSIS) annual meeting in early August, an award given annually to centers that demonstrate excellence in the treatment of musculoskeletal infections. The honor recognizes OrthoCarolina’s commitment to the clinical care of patients with musculoskeletal infections as well as collaborative research efforts with the OrthoCarolina Research Institute (OCRI) that continue to look for ways to improve the outcomes of those dealing with periprosthetic joint infection. Past winners have included the Mayo Clinic, the Rothman Institute, USC and the Endo Clinic (Germany).

Dr. Thomas Fehring has dedicated approximately one third of his practice over the last 35 years to revision total joint and periprosthetic infection cases and helped the OrthoCarolina Hip and Knee Center establish a national reputation for revision surgery. The Periprosthetic Joint Infection Center receives multi-state referral patients from across the region. For more information, visit orthocarolina.com. A patient-oriented website has also been designed to provide guidance and support for the infected patient and their caretaker. Visit healingjoints.org.

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