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I really need help--infection?

I almost one month post acdf. My incision has looked great and never hurt at all until a few days ago. I ran a low grade fever for a couple of days and then my incision started to throb. It still looked fine, closed, no drainage, no redness. Until yesterday. I took my brace off and the inside was covered with blood. One small end of the incision had opened up. Today, although it still looks raw, the oozing has all but stopped, but I have started to swell under my neck. My surgeon is out of town and three hours away. I called his office and they said to clean it, put a bandage on and just watch it for the next few days. Doesn't it seem like a month is a long time for an incision to start opening back up? Anyone have anything like this? A CT scan a few days after surgery showed a seroma with a suggestion that it be followed by MRI to check for infection. My surgeon said it wasn't necessary as seromas were to be expected after that type of surgery. Thanks for any input.


  • I didn't have an infection at the fusion aria but I did get an infection at the bone graft from my hip. It started to swell and was painful to the point I couldn't stand up straight. I started to shake and was getting a fever. So I had a friend bring me to the emergency. They opened the incision and drained it and gave me antibiotics and it started to clear up after a while. If it is getting infected at neck you shuld get that checked out as soon as possible.
  • I'm not a doctor but I would go to the ER if I were you.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • I appreciate the input. JayZ, it sounds like you were much sicker than I am. I don't want to take any chances with an infection, but right now it just looks so benign. Even the throbbing has stopped. Just some swelling under the incision, I think it just makes me nervous because I am this far out from surgery and anything about the incision changed.
  • No problem, an infection can be troublesome pretty fast so if it was infected im pretty sure you would know it by now. Good luck. I go in for my 2nd surgery soon for the same fusion I got 5 years ago becauce it never fused at all. But this time he is using a synthetic bone graft with bone stimulation.
  • I have a bone stimulator and my surgeon used synthetic bone as well. He also did a bone marrow aspiration from my hip and mixes that with the synthetic bone to hopefully help it fuse faster. I am so sorry you are having to go through it again. I hope this time it is flawless.
  • I hope so to because it puts your life on hold and I just want it behind me already. Hopefully yours works out just fine which it sounds like it will because your doctor is making more of an effort to do so.
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