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Confused about Drs decision

I have dealt with a spine infection for the last 7 months, I did the 7 weeks IV antibiotics 24 hrs a day that did not stop the infection. My infectious disease Dr put me on oral antibiotics for 3 months and then sent me to a surgeon to have the infection cleaned out. My surgeon stated he wanted me on antibiotics for 3 more months and then we would proceed with surgery, At the end of my 3 more months on antibiotics a MRI was ordered and I am still showing signs of infection. My surgeon has decided that since I do not have any abcesses that he wants to hold off on surgery for one year. My infectious disease Dr now has written me a script for one more year of oral antibiotics and told me unless I notice any changes I do not need to see him for 6 months. I was told my infection is still present but contained to the L4- S1 disc. I was also told the infection has caused major structural damage to my spine which is no surprise to me due to the pain I have. This was a surgery that I did not want ( Ive had 7 spine surgeries and made a promise to myself no more) but I am concerned about the infection still being present. I no longer feel so sick that I could of cared less wether I died or not, yes I felt that bad. My surgeon did state that if my leg pain persisted that he would consider a SCS. One of the reasons surgery is put on hold is that infection gravitates toward the hardware. Wouldnt it then also gravitate towards the SCS? Just going in a flushing and debriding the infection is not a option anymore. The damage the infection has caused will require fusion of L4_S1 to fix., I am curious as to what other members thoughts of this are. Would you seek a second opinion or continue with the plan?


  • i would be searching for a doctor that wanted to remove the infection in the safest possible way. Obviously this is just my not very informed idea. The idea of an active infection in my body for that long would scare the @#$% out of me. But to continue my suggestions, definitely a second and maybe a third opinion I think are definitely called for. Of course I have no medical training and this is just my opinion.(please take it as an uninformed opinion)

    Good luck with all of this infection problems and I'm sure everything will turn out for the best.
  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 06/02/2013 - 4:11 PM
    You should absolutely get a 2nd opinion. I think sometimes we develop a good relationship with our surgeon and feel like he is trying to give us the very best treatment possible... and that can make us feel guilty of not "trusting" him etc. All reputable surgeons I've ever delt with have been very supportive of second opinions. You are dealing with some major issues here and you need a second opinion. Also I'd suggest going back to your PCP and run everything by him/her and see what they think simply because they know ALL of your medical history in depth and help you find another great surgeon for another opinion.
    Best of luck to you, sounds awful and I can imagine scary as well. Hang in there and let us know how you are getting along.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 558
    edited 06/03/2013 - 9:15 PM
    Just a thought on the SCS for you.. In time it may be a option.
    When I had my implant my surgeon asked me to go home that day ASAP
    My insurance had already approved two nights so I was surprised with his choice.
    I ended up with four laminectomys that day and left the hospital just hours afterwards.
    It was hell when the good meds faded away.
    At my follow up I asked why he did that to me.
    I was told a simple infection could travel up the leads and into the spinal canal.
    This would not be good and would also require the whole SCS to be removed and tossed out.
    Six months after no infection he said he could try again.
    Now I think it was a good choice and with what you posted I would wait till your clear even if another surgeon felt he could do it. Infections can hide and take a nap for months at a time.
    Just be careful. Its to bad because it may help you.
  • for sure get an infectious disease dr's second opinion. That is a long time for oral antibiotics in my opinion. if you were on 24hr antibiotics iv my guess is maybe it was Zosyn. They had to have done a culture and if ordered a panel to see what strain of your infection is suspect-able to. My 1st SCS got infected all parts of it cultured positive meaning it was in the spine too. They did 4wks of IV antibiotics(Vancomycin) then had to wait 4 months for another SCS to make sure the infection was gone. I never took antibiotics by mouth but every doc is different. The location of your infection is much more intense than mine. Frankly if they think the infection is that bad why not be more aggressive? would be my question...
    take care
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,111
    edited 06/03/2013 - 12:30 PM
    During my 7 weeks of IV antibiotics I was on 2 different types , Vancomycin along with Cefadroxil. I am now on oral Cefadroxil. for the next year. I have seen another Infectious disease Dr and basically was told the same thing. If my surgeon wants to do surgery then he needs to contact him so they can work together to get me thru the surgery as safe as possible. The infection was identified by a biopsy as Staphylococcus aureus. Per my infectious Doc about 80% of surgeons will not operate on a person that has a active infection if there are no abcesses. It would seem to me leaving the infection in my body would be more dangerous then removing the affected bone and tissue. . I contacted the Cleveland Clinic and they requested that I fax them my medical records then they will schedule a appointment. But who knows how long it will take to get a appointment there. My nerves are shot over this. Every time I get a hot flash I think oh no my infection is getting worse. That was the biggest symptom other then constantly feeling like I had a case of the flu. I know I need to get a second opinion if for anything just a peace of mind. Maybe Ill see if I can get into a local Neuro-surgeon and then also go to the Cleveland clinic
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  • If it were me, I wouldn't allow anyone to even consider putting another device or operating on me at all until that infection is all clear. If the infection were to flare or become even more compromised by yet another infection, it would become a disaster for you. I know that you must be tired of dealing with the pain, and just wanting some form of relief, but for me, and me alone the risk is just not worth what it could potentially cost me.
  • Has any one on here ever tried the mobilier? I have 3 buldging discs in the lower back area, 1 of which is touching my nerves sending pain down my left leg. Was wondering if any one had a similar condition and had tried the mobiliser before?

    Please help! Thankyou
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