Knee Infection

10 days now of swelling and skin infection(staff) around knee cap....under the skin...doc says not to drain it ....but I might anyway as it is keeping me out of water......he has me on two courses of anti-biotics...seem to remember a friend had something like this years ago...anyone had this....I reckon it has to do with banging the knees...maybe wax into pores......


Roger- that’s karma for not taking me along with you south of the border recently(ha-ha!)  i’m wondering if it wasn’t something in the water there that got this thing going? anyway, mellor gives good advice.hope it clears up soon…

Rog- Don’t do it!  Staph infections can get very dangerous.  Some strains of staph are now resistant to anti-biotics.  An infection in your knee could be secondary (started elsewhere).   See another doctor, but don’t drain it yourself.

We’ll save you some waves for later, just take care of yourself!!




Let's see now...

Infected knee?, doc prescribes antibiotics?, says don't drain it?  and you come to a SURFBOARD DESIGN WEBSITE for advice?!  LOL

Seriously, Poking a sharp object and squeezing it could make a bad situation worse.  Give the antibbiotics a chance to work.  It might take a few days.  If it appears to be getting worse or you develop a fever, dark streaks around the area or lumps in your groin, get to an ER.  As Keith mentions, there are resistant strains going around and some heavy artillery (I.V. antibiotics) may be the call.

I get this just about every year when the full suit comes off and i start scraping my knees on the wax.  Never had it as bad as what you describe though.  Hope it all comes right soon.

Last year I got some cholrhexadine soap and washed my knees after a surf for the first few weeks in a shortie.  Didn't get it.  

Man I'd love to be in a spring suit now.  It's cold, windy and huge here today. 

As Keith mentions, there are resistant strains going around and some heavy artillery (I.V. antibiotics) may be the call.

Think about the lagoon at Malibu...a polio pit if ever there was one. My doctor (with Kaiser in Ventura County) says they check every infection for MRSA, including inflamed closed cysts. MRSA is bad enough, but there's horrible flesh-eating bacteria and God-knows what else. Opening yourself up can also open up a can of worms. Not like there's any surf at the moment anyway, and even if you miss a short pulse swell now you'll be ready for distant ground swells later.

aloha roger

take care

that flesh eating antibiotic bug is running rampant

they even had incidents of it at the shower at haubush

which the bruddahs blamed on the homeless drug addicts who bathe there


in the mean time

okole maluna and do the dead cockaroach style every once and a while

for its elightening to be surfing when you can't see where you are going looking up at the lip.

the "coffin/pray for surf" pose works too

take care of it and stay healthy


Aloha proneman

Ditto to the above comments.  My wife is a surgery nurse here on Maui and they have had a few amputations due to small infections that turned very quickly into staff where patients failed to tend to the matter.  Clean all cuts with bedondine or similar and watch em closely.  Listen to the doc.




I think John Mellor summed it up very well, though I can understand why a surfer wants advice from other surfers. At this stage I wouldn’t get too excited about the flesh eating bugs, however, swelling and staf should be treated seriously. My rule of thumb is if somethng hurts when you are doing nothing then you need to see someone. A second opinion/blood tests seems more advised than self-surgery.





don't f--k around w/ this P'mon

I’m not Md so my advices will only be the one from a kook that had staff and “lost” part of his calf

  • don’t share any bath towel with any one, don’t use any swimming pools, wash you shower after…

  • do separate loundry, wash every single thing that was in contact with your knee…

it’s really higly contagious


By the way... it's 'Staph" as in Staphylococcus.  One form of it or another can be found practically anywhere.  It's when it sets up shop in a place that makes you ill that it becomes a problem.  MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is the bad one going around that is a result of long term indiscriminate use of antibiotics by the medical profession.  A worse type of bacteria is even showing Vancomycin resistance.  Vancomycin is a very potent antibiotic and if it won't kill the bug, sometimes nothing will.  I personally know of several people who have died after being infected by Vancomycin resistant germs.  Nothing in the medical arsenal would take it out so the patients were put in quarantine/isolation where they died.  All their stuff gets burned and it literally takes haz mat precautions to deal with contaminated refuse... masks, gowns, gloves, double bags... incineration.  Don't take antibiotics if you don't have to! 


Edit:  sheesh, I only earned one measly point for that?


I just have to say that the majority Dr’s are no smarter or aware than the average joe.  Definitely don’t take antibiotics if you don’t have to!


Best way to deal with staph is to treat a cut correctly from the start.  Never use alcohol or peroxide to clean a cut, these things kill the good skin cells that fights the germs.  I’m sure there are other things that are bad too.

Clean the cut with Betadine and rinse with Saline Solution.  If you think it necessary to really clean the cut use a very soft tooth brush (not one you’ve used in your mouth) with the Betadine.  After rinsing with Saline Solution put Neosporin on the cut and bandage well.  Replace bandage and Neosporin at least twice a day.

Especially for surf trips to the tropics take Betadine, Saline Solution, Neosporin, and bandage supplies.

I prefer to make all my own bandages using the best quality 2" cloth bandage tape (tan brown in color) and non-stick pads.  You can cut the tape and non-stick pads to the size you would need.  And this way you can seal with tape around all of the non-stick pad and make sure no dirt gets in under the bandage.  If the bandage does get compromised change it asap.

Best of luck with the staph.

I appreciate advice and concern…did not puncture and it is slowly getting less swollen…less tender…less inflamed etc…

Surfed this AM at Bowls…was real careful not to bump the ugly knee. This pic is after surfing…it looked alot worse couple days ago! No more swelling in foot as was the case for some days. Hey Bernie…can you give me some lessons on some of those Makaha tricks?



Ow man! Nasty.

So you went surfing anyway…

We surfers must be the worst patients :slight_smile:

I’ve got a big burn down my arm from the other day, pulled calf and badly sprained big toe from my soccer game yesterday, and i’m still eyeing up a surf this arvo…

The only waves for the last month and i’m injured!

My mate blew out his knee snowboarding, but still straps it up and charges the slopes. The thing swells to twice its size, but it doesn’t discourage him!

Bloody addictive this sport, we put ourselves through pain just to get a fix.

Hope you keep healing man, there’ll be more waves in no time!

Gnarly knee dude!

I’m dealing with a little knee issue myself so I thought I’d post.

A couple of weeks ago I broke my favorite board.  So I pulled one out of the racks.  It was one where I’d experimented with that Surfco wax substitute- the peel and stick traction. Think 36 grit sandpaper.  I guess I drag my knees when I pop up. After a half hour my knees were bloody so I swapped it for another board. Nothing serious- my knees were just barely abraded, but, being a teacher on summer vacation, I’m surfing every day and the little abrasions won’t heal and just keep getting deeper and deeper.  Now every pop up is a brief torture session.  A friend loaned me his shortboard (I’ve been surfing the 7-5 I just made) but the traction pad instensified the torture so I swapped back to the 7-5 after 3 rides.  Today we finally got some decent, peaky head high waves with a little grunt to them and I was wishing I had a shortboard (actually I was wishing I had my old 5 fin), so tommorrow, if the waves are like today, I’m going to put on a full suit (even thought the water’s 70 degrees!) and go short.

1/8" across and 1/8" deep, micro pain factories!

   Howzit Proneman, So you are Oahu now and you surfed Bowls, the south shore is a staph infection just waiting to happen. Find a local uncle or auntie who knows about hawaiian herbs and get some lokahi and prep it and apply it to the original spot where the staph entered the wound. Hopefully there is an open spot , lokahi will suck the staph right out of the would, use it every day and in about 3 days you won't believe how much better it will be. I have been using this herb for over 35 years and on people with raging staph and they can't believe how great it works. By the time the antibiotics even start the lokahi would have gotten the swelling and the redness out and you would be healing. When I took a hawaiian medicine class a few years ago it was one of the herbs the teacher said is one of the best herbs we have in Hawaii. The thing is it grows in all 50 states and Canada and the American indians turned the pilgrims on to it, it's been used for for ever. If you need more info, PM me or you can call me and I can desribe it to you and it probably grows in your yard since it is every where's and most people think it's a weed. Aloha,Kokua

lillibell:  back in the gulfport parafin days '63 we used to call those holes craters.  still have scars from one.  u might want to try liquid bandage.  it will sting a bit...sort of like a red hot poker being inserted...but it will put a protective cover on it and the manufacturer reports it contains anti mrsa antiseptic.  used it in el sal last summer on every cut i got and no infection at all, even tho la paz looked like a flushed toilet the day we surfed it.

Hey, Interesting reading about the infection.

My story:

I was surfing a very average day out at a local Southern Cal break four years ago. On a very average wave I clipped my shin with one of my fins, was not too deep and bled just a little so I thought nothing of it. Couple of days later it was itching, red, swollen, starting to leak, so I headed to the doctor. He put me on antibiotics and nothing would stop this thing. It would get a little smaller, then grow again, after a couple of weeks it spread to two other areas surrounding the original wound. After a couple of months (no surf) it looked better and we cut off the antibiotics. I have a good doctor that is very hesitant about prescribing and he did not want me to stay on them longer than I had too. Of course it came back in a week, again on very heavy antibiotics. He sent me for an MRI to make sure it was not in the bone which it was (thankfully) not. He did a culture of the wound and it was not MRSA.

After another couple of weeks with no progress he sent me to a surgeon to have it de-brided (spelling?) The surgeon numbed me up and went to work and what she found was amazing. The staph had litterally eaten a hole from the original wound down to the bone, this spidered out to two other holes both within an inch of the wound. She cleaned the sucker out and I spent the next month packing it with clean gauze three times a day and more antibiotics. No more problems after that.

Until last week. I now live in Australia and was taking a shower the other day when I felt that familiar itch on my leg. It's back! Thankfully, this time it is small and seems to respond well to treatment. The doctor here seems to think that since the old wound is mostly scar tissue now, that there is not as much blood flow and the body has a hard time fighting the bug. I think it is something that will flare up from time to time from here on out.

Moral of the story: watch yourself, clean all cuts, don't f_ck around with infections, they are a bear...


Great thread!

Animator’s experience shows that you cant be too careful with cuts etc. Very scary stuff! 

Update on my knee event…

After four courses of antibiotics and three different docs(general,skin,ortho)the knee is ok. The skin doc recognized it as an inflamation of the bursa and advised me to see an orthopedic. Bursas are lubricating sacs that are between skin and bone over the knee cap(in this case) . Infection likely caused by trauma and continued surfing and bumping etc. The orthopedic doc tried to drain it…but had no luck as it had congealed by then. 

As the swelling declined…I started surfing again with a knee pad and am continuing, at least for now, to use it. The knee pad works well and I would imagine that it could be used over a cut or abrasion with success. 

In the future…I would go straight away to an orthopedic doc and have the thing drained and I think it would have resulted in less down time.