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internal suture irritation/wound infection

nelnnel Posts: 402
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Anyone who has been reading tready's posts will know that I have had a wound infection. It started 11 days post op and I have had considerable wound leakage since. I have had two different sorts of antibiotic and the leak has slowed but not stopped even 17 days later. I am now 4 weeks post op. (l5s1 fusion)

My question is: have any of you had a suture irritation? If so what did they do about it? Did it resolve itself? Or did they pull the suture out?

When I saw the surgeon on Tuesday he poked my wound with surgical forceps (very painful) because he said he thought there may be an internal dissolvable suture causing irritation and being forced out by my body. When I screamed and pushed him out of the way he stopped poking but I think he was a bit annoyed and thought I was overreacting. The thing is it really did hurt and, as you will know, as it is behind me I had no control and so didn't like to let him carry on in case it hurt even more. It was the sort of pain that I might have been able to stand had I been inflicting it on myself, if that makes sense. I feel a bit guilty now because I did have a bit of a moan at him at the time. I think I will appologise when I see him!
I am supposed to see him again next tuesday but am worried now because the wound is still leaking and he may decide to poke me again!


  • My first thought is, how dare he be annoyed because you reacted to the pain? Hmmm. What did he expect? I don't see why an apology is warranted unless it's from him. He needs to know that when he does something like that it hurts!

    About the suture. A friend of mine had shoulder surgery and an internal suture caused irritation for a couple of weeks until it finally broke through the skin and her husband pulled it out! No further trouble. Your surgeon may not recommend this though, so I wish you luck for Tuesday!

  • I had the internal sutures give me a small infection this go around. Basically it got itchy, then puffed up like a grape! I started rubbing it, and it popped like a zit! Green stuff came out, as did the tip of a thread (filament). I carefully pulled it out. In about 2 days all infection (swelling, itching, red color) was gone. If it is small, shouldn't be a problem. I hope you have similar "non emergency" result. Take care.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • and apology would be necessary. Poking anyone with a pair of forceps would be painful. If it were me, I probably would have kicked him! He should know that hurts and they do have topical pain sprays they could use to keep from hurting you if they do it again.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • OK- Thanks for the replies folks. I think I will ask about the spray next time if he does want to poke it. Might sleep a bit easier now!
    So if it is a stitch irritation it should work its way out on its own then? I guess he was trying to speed it along seeing as my wound is still not totally healed 4 weeks after surgery.
    Both he and the nurses have said the best thing I can do is as little as possible. So I am not allowed to go for walks etc etc. I have to say that this is the worst bit of the whole operation. If It wasn't for this I reckon I would have been back walking the dogs by now! Mind you maybe the enforced rest is doing me a favour so that I don't overdo it! ;)
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