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Infection 14 weeks post-op?

inafixiinafix Posts: 158
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Long story short I had MRIs w/wo contrast and a CT on Friday. Today I went to pick up my disk and there was a written report (first EVER in over 2 years of back issues) according to the RAD report I *may* have and infection at the L4/L5. A copy of the report has been sent marked STAT to my NS and I have already put a call into his office to find out what is going on. Waiting for a call back. I knew I had back-slid and feel worse but I was not expecting to hear this news. IF I do have an infection what would the next step be? How serious is this? Would I possibly need another surgery or might antibiotics work?

Like I said I am waiting for my NS office to return my call but I am very nervous about all this. I knew something was off.



  • I cannot offer you medical advice, because I am not a doctor. But, I know that there have been documented cases of infection after this type of surgery and antibiotics have been used to treat them.

    One Love,

  • Hi Kelly, I know you are feeling the stress right now, and I am so sorry you are having to go through that. Just when you think you are in the clear then something else comes up. Well you know they are always saying that the surgeons often interpret the films different than the radiologists, so I will hope and pray for you that this is the case, and there is no infection. It does sound like the radiologist wasn't certain of an infection, so lets hope for the best. Have you had a fever, chills, redness, etc.? Let us know when you hear something. >:D< Sue
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  • I am sorry that you are going through this. I know how scarry it is. >:D< I had an infection after my laminectomy. I am guessing that they will probably have you get blood work done to confirm whether your white blood cell count and SED rate are high. (This confirmed the infection for me.) Then they would probably put you on some form of antibiotics.

    For me, they were going to do IV antibiotics, but they couldn't get a pic line in me (bad veins) to deliver the antibiotics, so they put me on a very powerful pill antibiotic called Xyvox. So, taking the antibiotics was nothing big for me. The worst part of the infection was that I had imense pain. It is definately what I base my lvl 10 pain off of now.

    But, if it is an infection it is good that they are catching it sooner rather than later. Hopefully you will be fine. Hang in there.

  • Thanks for the input guys. My NS office just called and they are sending me to the hospital tomorrow morning for the SED rate blood test. I'm glad I went in and got the films today, I'm not so sure they caught the STAT fax from last week..?? So thanks Julie looks like they are at least being cautious. I didn't want to overreact but I didn't want to under react either ya know. Hopefully it wont be a big deal to get it cleared up IF there is one. I told my NS when I saw him on the 6th that I was hurting more and more. That was what prompted him to have the new MRIs. My pain levels have shot way up these last couple of weeks. No sign of fever though and my incision looks fine to me. I don't know. There are other issues on the report but my priority was the possibility of infection.
  • I truly,truly hope that it's not an infection.I had one at the same level.The evil pain started exactly 9 months ago. Today,I'm still recovering,not being able to live my life to the fullest.
    Again,I hope you don't have one!Either way,let us know how it goes.

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  • How interesting?

    I am curious that an infection decides to show up so late after surgery. Is this normal??? (I really don't know I am simply asking the question)

    Do you feel unwell? Any signs - soreness, swelling , tempreture? redness?

    I sincerely hope it is nothing. I was once told that you have 1x MRI and 3 different radiographers reviewing it you will get 3 different reports (kind of) and that see what your surgeon makes of it all.

    Fingers crossed. >:D<

    GogoBG - How long b4 yours showed up?
  • I'm back from my blood test. It's been long enough to have results so I am waiting for my call back. As for how I feel. I was doing great until the 8-9 week mark. I chalked up the new higher pain levels to starting PT. When I saw my NS at 12 weeks I told him about all the new/different pain I was having and that I am most comfortable flat on my back. He sent me for the MRIs and the CT. I am still quite tired and very achy. I usually start the day out pretty well but by late afternoon and early evening I am hurting enough to take 10-20 mg of percocet. This is the only time I really hurt enough to take my pain meds. I have no fever but I have been kind of nauseous, I thought that might be the Perc. I'm not sure if it could be/is an infection, I had not even considered the idea until I saw the STAT fax report from RAD. Which means they (the rads office) faxed my NS LAST Friday and they filed my paper work away and didn't even know about the STAT fax request until I called them a week later. If it turns out I have an infection we lost out on a week of treatment time as far as I am concerned. Obviously I hope to post back saying all is well. I'll let you know when I find out.
  • you can have an infection that doesn't go crazy right away. my MRSA-HA was diagnosed 3 weeks after my fusion, but only cuz I had a seroma was I suspicious (serious swelling). and high fever 3 nights in a row. I too had increased pain but I would have thought that was normal, too. the blood work doesn't lie so you'll know very soon. I did have the pic line in my veins for 6 weeks. treatments twice a day, 1.5 hours each. energy level- zero. but, it was caught and I'm still around. :)
    oh, and yes, you would most likely need surgery so they can go in and clean you up really well. I was in the hospital 5 days for that surgery. let us know ASAP what's up~!
  • scary stuff eh?

  • I have an elevated SED rate and have to see my NS, but not until Wednesday. The nurses exact line was "your SED rate IS elevated and Dr. ---- wants to see you Wednesday at 3:30." That was all she could tell me. I have tons of questions. I just wish I knew what lie ahead of me that is all..

    I'm trying not to get too down. I continue to welcome your thoughts,stories etc.....
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