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Surgery went well bad...

neverstoppersnneverstoppers Posts: 30
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Wow, what a crazy last few weeks. as some of you know i posted a message about a s1 to t5 spinal fusion. and i posted a picture of my x-ray.
well the surgery went bad, it didnt go at all.
they opened me up first from s1 to t5, and then they see a whole bunch of fluid in my lower back. they immedietaly think its infection. the doctors really did not want to go on because it would be to big of a risk for the new hardware to get infected.
they also took the old broken hardware out of my back.
they closed me up and put drainage tubes in me.
and they used staples to close me up. which is weird because my back surgeries always involved stiches.
well they took blood, and no culture grew out, but the pathologist still said my infection was off the chart even though it didn't grow out.
so they put in a picc line and put me on the strongest antibiotic out there called vancomycin. i had to get it 3 times a day every 8 hours. and it had to go in over an hour. after about 3.5 weeks, i developed a bad rash. also it kept my white blood count really low. they were checking my blood every week.
so now they finally took me off that and put me on clindamycin. which is an oral drug. and they said as long as my infection rate in my blood keeps going down they will they can finally take the picc line out.
they have said that my infection rate is still high, but its not 'off the chart'.
this is what pisses me off though. i told my doctor all th etime my left side swelled up, like a ballon. and it came down. and it was always some what swelled. and guess where the infection and fluid was. right there. how could they not know! Edited.
now my next surgery to put hte hardware back in, is going to be in the summer.
so thats going to Edited.
i am a collge student, i wanted to have the summer off. it throws it all off.
i don't know what to do. about my doctor. should i see a different one?

Post Edited by Authority Member haglandc for inappropriate language


  • I'm sorry to hear you have an infection. I hope it heals completely. Make sure and check your temp and hope you heal from the surgery and infection completely. I don't know if it will help seeing another Dr. but it's okay to get a second opinion. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Neverstoppers,

    My surgeon and rehabilitation doctors all RECOMMENDED I get a second and even third opinion before making the decision to have my lumbar spinal fusion surgery. In my opinion, second opinions can't hurt--they sometimes can prolong a final decision or action--but I think the more information one can get the better.

    Given the intricate nature of your situation, it seems another pair of well-trained eyes could help. Don't be afraid to be your own health advocate because, ultimately, you are the one who drives your care.

    I hope you find the strength and patience to weather the pain and frustration.
  • It just never stops does it? This is truly a bummer of mega proportion.

    Your doctor should have at LEAST explored the cause of the swelling. Cultures, blood work, SOMETHING.

    If this year is anything like last year, this summer will be here before you know it. Although you won't be spending it the way you planned, I sincerely hope you are able to get "fixed".

    Best of luck to you Nevers!

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    If it truly was an infection then they were right not to put in new hardware. If you are confident in the surgeon then you'll have to know the infection is gone before proceeding.

    Which doctor was it that wasn't listening? The surgeon?
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • well i have a few doctors. i have a oncologist ortro and a regular ortro and pain specialist. all of them just seemed to brush it off like it was nothing.
    now i am in worse shape then i have ever been in. my back feels so weird with nothing supporting it. i know they said that it doesn't matter that its out because it was broken anyways, but now its like i cant even stand up straight at all .
    the vancomycin was doing so much damage to my body. i now have nerve damage in my fingers, and i had a rash all over my body. my white blood count was really low too. now they took me off of it after 4 weeks and put me on an oral drug. thankfully hopefully this oral drug works. other wise they said i will have to go back to an IV antibiotic again. so they left my picc line in for now....

    i just don't know. i am worried about now, is going all the way up my spine really the best opition. is only doing a postier spinal fusion really the best opition these are questions going through my mind.

  • Sorry to hear about what happened but it does sound like they have your best interest in mind. Remember doctors are not God, they are humans. Sometimes without evidence or swelling to draw sample on, they can't definitively say infection or not.

    Sorry for the delays but I agree with DavidMaker on 2nd, 3rd, and even more opinions. I had a surgery that didn't work (I was the statistic) and I was faced with 2 options. I spent most of december researching to be sure I was confident with my decision and that I understood my options. Each consult helped me understand more about things.

    I would take this "time out" to really seek out other doctors. You may find you still like your existing one but it's worth the peace of mind.

    So sorry all this is happenning but so glad they didn't risk your well-being.
  • I am so sorry you have gone through all of this-and so young!you have to be completely healthy for surgery,but that doesnt help much when you have your frustration---do you have family/friends support group that are going through this with you?
  • dont really have any support group, though i have thought abouut joining one.
    this all started when i was 15, i found out i had a rare form of sarcoma in my back the size of basketball. though the cancer hasn't returned the spinal fusion they put in during the orginal 28 hour operation failed, then it failed again, and failed again, and here i am now with an infection. and facing anther surgery.
    sometimes i do wonder how much differnt my life would be if none of this happendd, but that just makes me even more depressed.
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