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Infected incision

I had a tlif on July 10, and my recovery has been going very slow. However, what concerns me most is the incision.

It seems to be infected, and when the doc saw a pic of it, he called in some antibiotics for me. He wants to see me on Monday to see if it helped. Either way, he said it may be that he needs to do a revision on the incision, to clean it out. Essentially an additional surgery, inpatient.

Has anyone else had this happen? He didn't really have time to answer many questions, so I wanted to find some info on my own. Guess i'm worried how far this puts me back in recovery.




  • My incision became infected and was draining profusely. They had to go back in and reopen the incision to washout the infection. I had a staph infection. I was in the hospital for a week on tons of antibiotics. My legs were very weak from the infection and I had to use a walker for a couple of months. I also had a picc line placed for IV antibiotics at home for six weeks. I am currently on cephalexin for the next year, so I don't get another infection before my bones fuse. I hope you dont have to go thru what I did. It was very painful.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • I also got a staph infection. They caught it after I was open back up for a revision. Please review what I went through also.

    Has anyone heard of getting scoliosis after spinal fusion T-11 to S-1? I DID! I have had 7 back surgeries 5 in a 10 month spand. I had a dr. fuse me from L- 2 to s-1. He took out my curve of the lumbar which I developed flat back. I went to a spinal specilistes who told me that I had flat back. He advised for me to have another surgery to put the curve back in my lumbar. He then fused me from T-11 to s-1. 3 weeks later I went to get my staples out the dr told me I had developed scoliosis. He said my spine had shifted from T-3 to T-12. I then had to go back into surgery to be fused from T-3 to S-1. I have 28 screws, rods and a cage. When he opened me up he found out that I had developed a stap infection in my T-11 T-12. This had happen from my December surgery 2010. I'm still on antibocs and was told that I will be on them for the rest of my life. I'm on doxycyline and rifampin which is a very strong medication. I have a chance to develope livrer problems. This all started out with my first surgery of 2 slipped disc of L-4 L-5 in 1997. I never ever thought that having a fusion would cause all of this. I blame the first surgen who performed my first 4 surgeries.

    Would someone tell me what they think about all this?
  • I had an infection in my incision after my PLIF. My surgeon didn't go in and clean it out despite it leaking like a tap for weeks. I remember thinking at the time how lucky I was not to have to have another surgery. I wish that he had gone in and cleaned it out there and then though because my infection ended up on my hardware and I had to have it removed nearly two years later after having repeated flare ups of fever, pain etc for all that time. If you have to have it cleaned out now it is no big deal - better that than getting a deep infection.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 08/03/2012 - 1:58 AM
    Just to share a less severe story;

    I had an infection after my lumbar fusion. My incision opened up at the top and then I developed an infection.
    Mine was treated successfully with oral antibiotics and daily cleansing and dressing changes. It did slow down my recovery and meant that I didn't get the dressing off until 6 weeks after my surgery. My surgeon did talk about opening it up again, but said he was reluctant to do that because there was a risk that he would push the infection deep into the wound.

    I hope that your infection will be dealt with quickly so that you can continue your recovery.
  • nelnnel Posts: 402
    edited 08/04/2012 - 10:27 PM
    Hi again,

    Sorry if my post was scary - I guess I have had a lot of time to dwell on "what ifs" recently! I was prescribed antibiotics when my incision started leaking but they were the wrong ones and I didn't get the right ones for two weeks when I finally saw the surgeon. Maybe that is why my tale ended up like it did and not like Jelly's. Also, I was only getting my dressings changed by the hospital maybe three times a week. I often had to change them myself (or OH did) at home becuase they were so wet it was disgusting. Maybe that would have helped me too?

    As far as putting my recovery back, I think it did but my surgeon took no notice! I still went back to work on his pre op regime at 11 weeks post op and felt awful. I think the fact that I had to not exercise while I was infected (4 weeks) delayed my recovery by the 4 weeks so I should have had another 4 weeks before going back to work.

    Has your surgeon told you to stop exercise? Apparently doing to much is another thing that can drive the infection in. I was allowed to do one 5 min walk a day - but, tbh, I couldn't be bothered getting dressed for that when the leaking would soak my clothes and I would have to keep getting changed. I just spent most of the day in pjs! When I had to go to the hospital to get the dressings changed I got ingenious with panty pads!

    I hope you have better luck than me and have a good result without needing more surgery.
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