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Infection Post PLIF

jkestrelljjkestrell Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am new at all this so please bear with me!

I had an injury at work that resulted in a hernitaed disk at L%- S1. Tried all conservative treatemtns--PT, ultrasound, walking, epidural steriod injectins and then in 10/2005 attempted microdiscectomy which turned into a formanotomy due to calcification of disc. Minimal results. More conservative therapy. And then finally decision to have a Microendoscopic Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion L4-S1 with BMP augmentsed with Formagraft on 9/23/2008.

I was in hospital until 10-26-2008. I had 4 incision sites. 1 of the lower and larger sites became red, draining and I felt more unwell. In the hospital after the first day and half I was up doing lots of walking. First week at home feeling pretty good but tired. And then the infection started!

I went back to NS was put on Ceflasporin and had lab work drawn. My sed rate was 101 (normal 0-30 for 50 year old)and my crp was was 26.6 (n <=2.5). Report came back that it was enterococcus faecalis and my antibiotic was changed to Ampiccilin 500mg by mouth on 10/5. I have been back to the NS every week. They have considered gong in and reopening the wound to clear it out. Weekly labs done.<br />
Problem is I feel worse this week that first week out of hospital! Has anyone else faced this bug? Or a similar situation? It is draining my strength and I am very depressed.

I have pain in my back on that side, some pain in leg, I feel unwell, run low grade temp and am very tired.

I am 5 weeks from surgery and not having fun! I hope it is uphill from here!


  • I think it may be more effective to get the Ampicillin by IV Of course I'm not a Doctor. Why wouldn't they give about 3 doses iv and then oral meds? I hope you feel better soon. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I have read they often re operate to clean the site.

    As Charry says, may be the anti-biotics making you feel yukky.

    At least it has been found and you are in good hands.
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  • My husband had this same bug, but it got into his bloodstream. He was on a vancomycin IV 2X/day for a month. His started from a UTI. It came back once, because it wasn't eradicated the first time, from taking pills.

    My advice is to check your temp twice a day and take your BP daily, once you are off your pills. We didn't know my husband still had the bug until he was about to go into septic shock!

    I don't mean to scare you, but be vigilant. His surgeon did check on him in the hospital daily, but he knew it most likely wasn't from the surgery. He did have a patient (reoperated on the same day as my husband's surgery) who had to have his surgical site cleaned out.

    I think they can tell from your white count if the infection is going away. This too shall pass!! It could be worse!
  • Do you always have a fever with these infections?

  • I'm not familiar with your bug. I had MRSA-HA (hospital acquired) after my 2 level fusion. July 9th I think was the fusion and then 3 weeks later, I had an emergency surgery (after my draining was cultured... the next day I went in). it was a 5 day hospital stay. the MRSA was all the way by my left screws and rods. I was lucky. it was still in a "pocket".... hadn't spread like wildfire. it was also right under my incision. I had a seroma (serious swelling-- very painful) and right before my surgery is only when I got a high fever- over 102-- 3 nights in a row. initially, though, I just kept feeling worse and worse instead of better. more pain. then came the swelling. then the fever was the last thing. it sucked emotionally to be back in, but at the same time, I was so thankful they caught it before it caused serious tissue damage or death. the problem was then they didn't close me up tight enough... and two weeks later I went in to have my incision re-opened... cleaned out again (they took a bit more tissue out) sealed me up really tightly, and was released thankfully the next day. I ended up having 3 surgeries in 7 weeks. uugh!!!! but, as I like to say, I'm still hear to whine about it so it's all good now. :)
    I was on vancomycin for 6 weeks. through an iv that stayed in my arm the whole time. I had two treatments a day. 1.5 hours each time for 1250 mgs of vanco.
    my crp was over 27 the day I went in for the MRSA surgery. my sed rate was over 100 like yours, but don't remember the exact number.

    best of luck to you. please keep us posted.
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