I had spinal fusion surgery when I was 11 (about 7 years ago)to correct a scoliosis with thoracic curvature of 85 degrees and lumbar curvature of approx. 87 degrees. I never had pain before the surgery and was completely oblivious to anything being wrong until my doctor stumbled upon it in a sports physical.
I'm from a small town in Michigan so finding a competent doctor for such a severe case was tough. And the surgeon I had was pretty good i suppose. He got my curvature down to 20-30 degrees postop. I had posterior spinal fusion from T2 to L4 with instrumentation.
But everything since then has been downhill. I've been having chronic pain in my lower pack and right shoulder ever since. My orthopedic surgeon left a wire from the hardware sticking into my shoulder muscle which explains the shoulder pain. And I have a degenerative disc at L5 which "explains" the low back pain.
And no one was willing to fix anything and I went around for years on narcotics and trying pain clinics, chiropractors, etc.
About two years ago, an open sore opened on my incision site around the L4-5 level. I went to various doctors and they had no idea what was wrong. They removed it superficially. and it reopened within a few months. A second sore opened right below it as well.
I moved to Chicago for school in October of 2009. My RHs told me to try the UChicago hospital and see if they had any ideas. And I was immediately admitted because they found MRSA on the wound culture they performed. But after blood tests, they decided that it was probably superficial and released me.
My pain has been increasing, especially with these open sores that continually bled/drained pus. I started experiencing nerve pain in my right leg. And severe stabbing pain in my hips and low back. So I decided to go to Rush Medical in downtown Chicago rather than UChicago hospital because the doctors there had no idea what was going on and refused to treat me since I did not have the surgery done there.
The doctors at Rush saw the sores on my incision and diagnosed me with a deep tissue chronic infection due to instrumentation infection. The open sores are "sinus tracts" and represent a deeper infection. He was extremely confounded that no other doctor had diagnosed this and said that if it had been caught earlier it would have been much easier to deal with.
Now, the surrounding tissue is infected and possibly my bone. And the MRSA on the superficial wound is most likely representative of the bacteria inside. My doctor says that I have to have my hardware removed and an intensive antibiotic treatment for months.
I was wondering if anyone else has been in this situation/heard of it?
I was also hoping to hear from people that have had their hardware removed and how it helped with chronic pain?