A new, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health could help researchers discover improved biomarkers and fluorescent dyes to assess and treat infected knee replacements.

Matthew Dietz, MD, an assistant professor and orthopaedic surgeon specializing in adult reconstruction, will use the funds from the mentored career development grant to more fully understand the environment in which a post-surgery infection occurs.

Infections after a total hip or knee replacement are devastating complications that require prolonged treatments, costly hospitalizations, multiple surgeries and have a five-year mortality rate similar to colon cancer.

Surgery to remove infected tissues and materials is one of the most common treatment recommendations; however, there is a high failure rate associated with it. While there are many factors that contribute to these poor outcomes, surgeons need a better assessment to know how much and which tissue is unhealthy and needs to be removed.

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