Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak's fourth and final knee surgery has been delayed because doctors found an infection in her leg.
When surgeons started to install a permanent knee replacement in Stahoviak's left knee last week, they found bacteria in her femur bone and decided as a precautionary measure not to go ahead with the surgery, Stahoviak said from a Denver hospital.
"It was a bit of a setback, and kind of a strange one," she said, referring to the fact that this infection was not related to previous ones.
"I'm disappointed, because I was hoping that this would be my last surgery."
Stahoviak is running for re-election. She recently beat fellow Republican Bea Westwater in the Republican primary and so will face Libertarian candidate Mike Kien in November.
She has been participating in county meetings through telephone conferences and has attended some special meetings in person.
Stahoviak was flown to a Denver hospital because of life-threatening kidney failure and infections in mid-December, and in the past months, has had temporary replacements with antibiotics implanted in both knees.
In June, she had a permanent knee replacement implanted in her right knee, which made it easier for her to get around on her own.
The surgery scheduled for last week would have taken care of her left knee, getting her back on the path to full recovery.
Stahoviak said she is being treated with antibiotics for the next four to six weeks. She now has a temporary spacer in her knee that makes it difficult to walk and requires that she wear a special brace that prevents her foot from rotating.
She plans to return to Routt County this week and likely will spend a few weeks getting stronger at the Doak Walker Care Center.
Stahoviak said while she was disappointed that the surgery was incomplete last week, she knows it was something the doctors had to do to be safe.
"It's better to be safe than sorry," she said.
Stahoviak thanked county residents for constant support.
"I just appreciate all of their continued good thoughts," she said. "This is just a temporary setback."