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Hey friends. Hope all is well. Everyone gearing up for surgery and those of you who are still healing I wish you all the best. I have a quick question and it being the weekend I can't just call my infection doctor or my surgeons office to find out. Anyway, hope someone has an answer.

Question: I've had some back surgeries that started back last November. I developed an infection and spent a month in ICU. I was told that I would have to stay on some long term antibiotics till I had my hardware taken out. That it would bind itself to the hardware and I would never be able to get rid of the infection. My back surgery was to fuse 4 levels. L2-L5 I believe or is it S1. Ha, I can't believe that has slipped my mind. You'd think I wouldn't forget such a biggie. Anyway moving on, a little more history on me. I've had several surgeries in my time. Fused C-6-C7. I have some mesh in my right shoulder and two screws in my right knee. My question is this: If I can't get rid of my infection until I have the hardware removed. Do I need to have all the hardware in my body removed to accomplish my goal?

Thanks for the help.



  • I'm sure someone soon will come along and give you input. Just wanted to insure you that sometimes it takes awhile but there are some really great folks here. I for one have not experienced what you are going through. Hang in there, some shortly will come along better suited than I

  • Shawn I have read on this site about people who have had infections after surgery. You could search the site for infections and maybe find some answers, until someone who has been what you are going through is online. It's a bit early yet in the States but they should be online soon and will have an idea where to direct you.
    Sorry haven't had surgery yet.
    Hope you are OK.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 06/01/2013 - 10:26 AM

    I am sorry that I don't know the answer, but I will be interested to find out.

    Do you know how long they intend to wait for fusion so they can take the hardware out?
    My guess would be that they would only remove the hardware in your lumbar spine as that is where the infection was.
    They could wait and see if there is a problem with the hardware in your neck, shoulder and knee, and if not then leave well alone.

    I hope that someone who really knows will be along soon to share their wisdom. :-)
  • I developed an infection, the infectious disease doctor kept me on IV antibiotic for six weeks and the oral antibotics for one year after my infection. This was an effert to keep my hardware in me. I was declared infection free several months ago. Now I am trying to get my surgeon to allow me to have a SCS trial.
    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.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I have hardware in my cervical area but have a infection in my lower spine that has no hardware. Per my infectious disease Dr the infection is contained to my lower back for now and he doesnt think that it will ever get to my cervical area
    I will remain on antibiotics for 1 year

  • I had a total knee replacement in 2000 and got a spinal infection in 2006. At that time I had not had a spinal fusion. Like others in here, I was on IV antibiotics for 2 months and oral ones for another 2 months. I had to wait nearly a year for the surgeons to make sure the infection was gone before doing a 5 level lumbar fusion. I mentioned the knee hardware because the infection did not effect that hardware so I didn't have to have it removed.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
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