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Bad news

jbigdan1jjbigdan1 Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My wound is still draining. at the top of the wound about 1 1/2" is still leaking. The DR. Told me if it was not slowing down by the 12th. his is going to put me back in the hospital and clean it out. He said when it keeps draing it chould be an infection. So wow Im kinda worried about this have you ever heard of this. Dan


  • Thank you you for your help. Dan
  • This does happen sometimes; sometimes it is an infection and other times it dries up and heals fine.

    You still have 3 days until he decides what to do. That is time for it to stop draining and dry out. My incision kept making the dressing yucky and eventually my surgeon did a swab test and I did have an infection. It meant that my dressing didn't come off until week 6, but eventually it healed and is fine now. My surgeon did say that he could open me up again and clean it but he didn't want to do that unless he had to as it would set me back in my recovery and there was a risk of pushing the infection deeper into my back. He gave me strong antibiotics for 3 weeks and that sorted it.

    Where the infection was at the top of my scar, the scar is much wider.

    I hope that you get some good news :-)

  • Please read about staph infections of the spine and how important it is to address them aggressively, especially if you have had a fusion, since it can inhibit the fusion from happening.

    Did you have a nasal swab done within 2 weeks of your surgery to determine if you were a carrier of the staph infection? It is very important that surgeons do this test before a patient has a spinal fusion.

  • Hi Dan,

    I had my microdiscectomy on 8/16 and I had to go back under the knife on 9/2 because of drainage issues. I had a serious fluid build up after surgery, and on 8/25 I woke up with wet sheets and a hole in my wound, and the drainage never stopped afterwards. My doctor told me this happens in 5% of cases. While I fought a second surgery, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. I was in the OR maybe 15 minutes (vs. 2 hours for the mircod). Both a seroma and a hematoma was removed, and I admit that I felt a lot better- before I had been feeling a bit fluey. They took a bunch of cultures and so far so good. I did have to stay in the hospital 2 nights since I had a wound drain inserted after the surgery but after the flow mostly stopped, I got to come home. I do have staples this time (steri strips before) and they hurt and are annoying, but I'm only stuck with them for 10 days, and two of those were in the hospital where I could have morphine. Monday they come out, and I can let you know the final result.

  • Hopefully your infection is now dealt with and you can get on with the healing and recovery.

    I found that once my staples were out, I was much more comfortable. Also once the dressing was off, that made a big difference as I had an allergic reaction to the dressing and had to be on antihistime tablets to reduce the itching and rash / hives.

    How is the leaking now Dan? Any reduction in it?

  • I got a hematoma next to my incision. Unlike the last one, it's on the surface. It slowly drains unless I a) press on it (not doing that again!) b) am particularly active. There is no visible hole in the incision this time, but I'm worried I'll have to have another surgery. I'm using ice and hoping that is sufficient to control it.
  • Hi Dan,

    How much is it draining? My incision started leaking day 11 post op. It leaked so much that it was running down my legs. My dressings had to be changed daily (could have done them hourly tbh) and still my clothes were wet. I had antibiotics at the time, can't remember how long for- maybe two weeks. It leaked for four weeks, getting less over time but still leaking a lot for three weeks. It took six weeks for my incision to heal completely.

    I believe, for me, this was the start of all my current problems. I have ended up with infected hardware that I have just had removed nearly two years later. My whole recovery was slow and I have had so many flare ups along the way.

    I know the idea of further surgery now is scary, but if, like mariposa says, it is just a 15 minute job to wash it out that is better than two years down the pan and a deep seated infection to deal with? I was never offered a clean out at the time and I know I was worried it would be suggested. I can't help wishing I had had one now!

    But I don't want to scare you - my case is just my case and from what I can gather it is not very common, that is why it has caught my surgeon out I think. I did leak an awful lot - there was nothing slow about it!! As Jelly says , you might just have drainage of fluid that is nothing to do with infection and you could just heal up fine. Jelly has obviously recovered from her leakage just fine. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is the case for you.
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