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Post op infection

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

Just wondered if I could pick your brains...

3 weeks ago I had a minimally invasice lumbar disectomy on my L5-S1 disc. According to my consultant the procedure went well and I was out of hospital after 1 night.

About 10 days ago, the wound started leaking heavily, and I was prescribed antibiotics as I was told I had a surface ibnfection.

On Friday, with the antibiotics having made no difference, I had an MRI scan which showed a large cavity of infection amongst my fat and muscle tissue. I had surgery that evening to "wash out the wound" and remained in hospital for 4 nights with IV antibiotics and a vacuum attached to the wound to suck out any remaining fluids.

My consultant was pretty evasive as to why this infection occured and I was wondering what your thoughts are. I'm a fit and healthy 25yr old. Should I be questioning why this infection occured or do I need to accept that its "just one of those things"?

Thanks for your time!


  • Well it's highly possible you aquired the infection at home since it occured a week or so after the surgery.

    If it was a hospital aquired I would say you would had felt it sooner.

    In any case it would be difficult to prove otherwise.

    Did the wound culture could up as MRSA?

    And the wound vacs are great, they increase the healing factor by 70% and close the would far faster then it could ever close on its own, as well as clearing out further infection.
  • Welcome to Spine Health, Midnite_vulture! I am sorry you have this infection, unfortunately this is a real danger that can happen with every surgery. I have read that hospitals are the most dangerous places because infection lurks everywhere. Ther are measures the surgeon can take, like wash out the incision area with antibiotics and give the patient some either in an IV or in pill form as well. Jakotsu may be right though, a hospital acquired infection probably would have been noticed earlier. The important thing is that they caught it early and have taken care of it.

    Hope you will recover from it soon. Best wishes,

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    There are always risks associated with Spinal procedures. Many people do wind up with infections after surgery. After my last ACDF surgery, I developed a bleed that resulted in
    osteomyelitis. I had a pict line installed in my arm and had IV treatments 2 x day at home for 6 weeks.
    We 'believed' it was due to the hip bone harvest for the graft onto my C6/C7 procedure.
    We ask, but never received a "Yes, that is what happen, there was a surgical mistake mode"
    That becomes basically impossible to prove, so I just did what was needed to eliminate the infection and forget to how and why it happened.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • hey, thanks very much for your replies and apologies for not writing back sooner.

    have done some digging and found out that the bacteria causing the infection was e-coli - which strikes me as very bizarre! i know i need to let it go and just get on with getting better but its so frustrating when you have a gut feeling that a mistake was made!
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