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Possible Infection after Microdiscectomy/Lamenectomy

backpainsucksbbackpainsucks Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I was injured at work in April 2010. I had a Herniated buldging disc at L4/L5. I tried PT, Injections and then the doctor suggested Microdiscectomy/Lamenectomy. I fought workers comp forever and lost in the end. After 11 months of being injured with my nerve compressed, I had a Microdiscectomy/Lamenectomy on the L4/L5 on March 22, 2011. I gained back the use of my left foot and leg. However, after surgery, I've never fully recovered. I'm still dealing with nerve and back pain, leg pain and foot pain, swelling of the left foot only.

I requested my ortho doc to have another MRI. It still showed a buldging disc with 2cm of a fluid like substance "possible bland or infected". Upon returning to the ortho, he said all changes in the MRI were "normal postoperative changes", however, he sent me for blood work to see if an infection was indicated. The blood counts came back ok, however, he ran a test call "Cardio CRP" and it came back high. Upon doing a search on google, looks like it is related to possible sudden heart problems. When I googled Cardio CRP AND back surgery, it came back with this is one of the tests doc perform to see if there is an infection.
My questions are:
Has anyone ever had this fluid like substance, if so, what happened?
Has anyone ever had this test ran?
Does anyone have any info on this at all?

On another note, the primary doc has asked me to also see a neuro surgeon. Is there anything I need to make sure that I ask when I go?

Thank you in advance for all your help!



  • Sorry to hear of your continuing pain and discomfort. I also had ongoing problems after my first surgery. An MRI showed a lot of inflammation and I had a SPECT CT nuclear scan to check for and diagnose infection. My doctor said that an elevated CRP is a sensitive test to diagnose infection because the MRI can look pretty similar to a normal postoperative scan.

    I also had an increased white cell count. I had a few weeks of IV antibiotics and surgery to remove all the hardware, clean out the bone and replace the the hardware. This was 3 months ago and I am doing well. Certainly the high levels of pain were almost immediately gone.

    From my experience I would suggest you ask the doctor if this is infection, whether it needs treatment by antibiotics or surgery or both.

    Good luck!
  • Thank you Emily. I'm going to see the neurosurgeon on Wednesday. If you don't mind me asking, what were some of your symptoms?
  • Thank you Emily. I'm going to see the neurosurgeon on Wednesday. If you don't mind me asking, what were some of your symptoms?
  • Thank you Emily. I'm going to see the neurosurgeon on Wednesday. If you don't mind me asking, what were some of your symptoms?
  • Pain was probably my main symptom. It was different from the pain I had before surgery and was aggravated by any jarring movement. Going over speedhumps in the car or walking on uneven ground was very uncomfortable. As time went on this pain became almost unbearable with any movement and sat in the middle of my lower back, which was also tender to the touch. Twisting was very uncomfortable and I was stiff after movement too.

    I also had hot flashes. Every night, like clockwork for an hour or two. My temperature elevated very slightly, but I never did get a fever as such.

    Over the 3 week period it took to finalize the diagnosis all these symptoms slowly got worse. At the end I was in a zero gravity recliner most of the time. That neutral position kept me as comfortable as I could be.
  • Sorry about the loss on the work comp case. I am also L4l5 issue. Is it maybe posible the fluid thats showing is leaking from the disc they did micro and lami on? If its not fluid built up from infection then disc can leak.

    My surgery was because of a tear in the disc and disc leaks out and the stuff that leaks out can attach itself to the nerve. Thats usualy when disc is no longer any good.

    I am just guessing of course in your case. But i know they always try lami and micro to try to save the disc but that procedure can sometimes also cause the leak when they remove part of the disc thats bulging out.

    Good luck. Let us know what dr finds,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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