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Hi I am Ashley New I have herated disks, in neck and lower back just had spinal fusion c5-6, complicated by infection living with this pain and problems since 2005. here is my issue that I sent up inder Infection any help/addvice is much much neede and appricated:

I am new to the Forum, and hoping that some of you may have some good insight. When I was 22 years old I was hit from behind by a driver going about 50 mph. I ended up with herniated disks in my neck and in lower back. After 8 years of steroid therapy injected and oral, Chiropractors, many rounds of Physical therapy, pain management basically anything out there. My pain had grown so much more sever and was having a tuff time using my hands, dropping things ect. So after seeing a Nero surgeon and the determination was made that I had no more disks in c-5/6 we finally decided to take the big jump to have surgery. I had a Spinal Fusion June 2013.
After surgery I had a lot of blood loss so stayed in ICU for2 days, a room for one and was finally released to go home. I noticed a lot of voice hoarseness in my voice over the next week but the Doctor said that was to be expected since my fusion was done by entering the front of my neck. 2 Weeks later I started to have major trouble swallowing and my incision looked a bit pussy, I was also externally tired. their office still said this may happen, 3 days later I spiked a Fever of 103, could barely keep my eyes open and was in such unbelievable pain finally they said I needed to go to the Er right away.
MRI’s and lots of cultures and blood work were done to determine I had 2 infections and an abscess that was growing on the hard ware. I was told if I would have gone to bed that night instead of going to the ER that I probably would have not have survived the night the abscess was so large it was cutting of my air way.
I had another surgery to remove the abscess were awake I had to swallow my own breathing tube that was a traumatic experience all on its own. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital on IV antibiotics. Was then sent home with 6 weeks of Antibiotics. The ones I was sent home with made me violently ill and spent another week in the hospital adjusting those meds. When the 6 weeks were up the oral antibiotics did the same thing and spent 2 more 1 week stays in the hospital.
I have finally returned to work but my Infectious Disease Doctor has made it clear that unless I remove the hard ware in my neck I will have to take oral antibiotics 4 times a day for the rest of my life. Not only do they make me sick at times, but I have to be so carful who I am around. Anyone with a cold or anytime of contagious illness I must stay away from. Of course working full time in a large office that is impossible. I am also deadly afraid of becoming sick or the slightest sore through has me so paranoid taking my temperature because I have been told the abscess can always grow back..
I need some advice should I just go through another surgery and have the hard ware removed? Should I stay on Antibiotics for the rest of my life in live in this crazy fear? The Nero surgeon says take the antibiotics for a year and have an MRI every 3 months to make sure all is well only 10% of people ever have a return infection….my luck I would be that 10% Infectious deses says have it removed or take the Antibiotics the rest of your life. The Surgeon says he will remove it anytime I want but I am scared any one goes through this at all????? Words of Wisdom????



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    I'm sorry for what you have been through but as far as whether or not to have surgery or not goes, that is a decision that you will need to make with the information from your surgeon and your own feelings. Since the fusion is relatively new ( June 2013), I am guessing that your surgeon wants you to wait a year for the fusion to become solid and then remove the hardware because it won't be medically necessary once the fusion is complete.

    I would suggest talking to the surgeon again, and clarifying what he feels is the reasoning behind waiting for the year, and then consult with another surgeon or two to see if they are in agreement.
    Until then, of course, taking the antibiotics is necessary since you don't want to see any problems crop up while you wait for the one year mark to be up.
  • thanks Sandi,
    I am really trying to wait the year; from the research I have done it makes the most sense. Thought my after my last MRI, the surgeon have confirmed that they feel it has fused, that is why he is willing to take it out at any time but he agreed with the research I did, that unless the life threating infection comes back it could be best to wait the year. I do feel it is best to wait the year as well if I go that route to ever remove it, I am just a jumble of nerves over all of this. I guess my biggest thing is has anyone else had these complications or an infection after surgery of this type. Were they constantly fearful of any other illness creeping up while on long term antibiotic use? Have they had their hardware removed? Any good articles to compare or advice or their own story’s welcomed. thanks
  • We have had some members who have developed post op infections, requiring the removal of hardware , for various reasons. The biggest thing about the ongoing antibiotics is to minimize your exposure to other's illnesses....during high seasons of colds, flu's etc, you might consider a face mask , especially in enclosed environments.
    The big thing you want to avoid is exposure to serious infections, and the good news is that you are almost half way through the year benchmark so you have almost traveled this road to the year mark.......and warmer weather is coming, not soon enough but in a few months.
  • Which antibiotics For other reasons I have to take Zithromax 3x weekly. Helps me fight infections. You must also take pro biotics. Mine is 500mg of Zithromax . I myself had C3 to C7 in June. There is a lot of research you can do on this site but I would get more opinions. Not knowing what are you are from makes a little more difficult. So sorry for you with having to worry about infections. Your in good hands with an infectious disease Dr. But then there is always allergist/ immunologist that can also be helpful. Maybe you can check with one of them also. You will get a lot of info from all of us and are own experiences. Check with another and see if he agrees or maybe more then just one. I had mine done posterial . Hope you get the answers you need.

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