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Thread: How do you know if you have hardware infection?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177

    How do you know if you have hardware infection?

    I have had now for the second time, a UTI, with barely any symptoms due to pain killers that I am already taking daily. I feel that this one involves the kidneys since my back is tender and sore in the kidney area. I am concerned that this might spread to my hardware. My question is are there any symptoms of hardware infection? How is hardware infection treated or can it be treated?

    Any knowledge on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Pam
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,104
    Hi Pam...

    I think the chance of UTI turning into an infection of the surgical site, is pretty small. (Implants don't actually get infected, as they don't have a blood supply. Infection, can, however, sort of hide underneath implants. Signs of infection include a new onset of redness or high SED rates with no other explanation.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pa.
    Posts
    85

    Infection

    Hi Pam.....I have been wondering how you are doing since your surgery with Dr. O. I know he was suppose to find the origin of your nerve pain after your surgery with Dr. Lenke. How are you doing? Have you gotten relief of the nerve pain? Hope to hear from you as I have thought about you so often. Nerve pain was my biggest complaint for the past 20 years. You can see in my signature line the surgeries I have had. Since my surgery Dec 11, I have been able to stand and walk longer but then I get to a point where the nerve pain, to a lesser degree than before surgery, does begin to creep into my legs, ankles and groin. I am somewhat disapointed I am not rid of this pain and hope to get some answers Feb 4 ......realistically, though, I think I wont get any answers.
    Patty
    1963 Fusion T4-L2 for congenital scoliosis. It was a bone graft and not instrumentation
    1989 to Present....Have had chronic pain. MRI's show severe neural foraminal stenosis L2-S1, rotational scoliosis lumbar spine over 40 degrees, compression of nerve roots L5-S1, Broad Based Herniations L4-L5, L5-S
    Surgery scheduled with Dr. Bridwell on December 11, 2012
    December 11, 2012 Had surgery with Dr. Bridwell. He fused L4-L5 with rods and screws.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    El Centro, CA & Baja California, Mexico
    Posts
    193

    Ask the doctor for your operative notes

    Hey Patty,
    Sorry to hear you are having problems. My left leg gets shocks all the way to the toes. I mentioned it to Dr Bridwell but no response. It was during my 7th week visit so I will let that go.

    I just got my op notes, not that I can understand every other word but it does give you some indication and to question him during your next apptmt.

    Otherwise, call Bernie.

    Did you know that when you send them an email via the website EVERYONE gets a copy? Dr Bridwell, Jackie, Bernie, the guy doing the study and who knows who. But, I sent a request for the 6 months apptmt requesting time on a particular week in May and I got 2 phone calls back. One from Jackie with a date and time. The other was from the poor smiley clueless guy who is taking info for the study.

    Good luck and please keep in touch.

    I am doing well to a point. I move too much and then I am in terrible pain (I think possibly ripping healing from the rods?)
    Gardenia
    Baja California, Mexico & El Centro, Ca
    pre-surgery 75 and 89 - post ?
    Dr. Bridwell Nov 27, 2012 @Barnes Jewish @62yrs
    T11 to Sacrum Dural leak at L2 & L3 ccmail4g@gmail.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177

    Infection

    Patty,

    This will be my forth attempt at answering your post. We shall see if this one makes it through. I hope that you continue to see improvements. The nerve decompression surgery gave me about 50% relief, which still left me with enough pain that I am required to take 2 pain killers and Gabapentin/Nuerontin. So, needless to say I started out with quit a bit of pain. I was admitted through the ER and put on a pain pump for 4 days prior to my surgery. My surgery never revealed a smoking gun as was hoped.

    Hope things continue to improve and you get answers. Thank you so much for your thoughts and concerns as well as everyone else's here on the forum.

    Pam
    Last edited by TwinmomTN; 01-27-2013 at 06:55 PM.
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    571
    Hi Pam,

    I am so glad to hear that you've gotten at least 50% improvement. I hope you'll get another 50% better over time...
    I am stronger than scoliosis, and won't let it rule my life!
    45 years old - diagnosed at age 7
    A/P surgery on March 5/7, 2013 - UCSF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    8

    Talk about infection...

    Quote Originally Posted by TwinmomTN View Post
    I have had now for the second time, a UTI, with barely any symptoms due to pain killers that I am already taking daily. I feel that this one involves the kidneys since my back is tender and sore in the kidney area. I am concerned that this might spread to my hardware. My question is are there any symptoms of hardware infection? How is hardware infection treated or can it be treated?

    Any knowledge on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Pam
    This summer after surg. had constant burning at about T3-also started falling, legs just "collapsed" Dr. said that was due to too much pain med...Aug 5th can no longer walk, lost 15 lb., constant burning in one area...went to ER and was in surg the next day. HUGE infection, had to replace ALL hardware T3to sacrum and dr took out a liter of "infection"...that''s my story, hope u r well:-)

    Laura

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    177
    Quote Originally Posted by Joey0917 View Post
    This summer after surg. had constant burning at about T3-also started falling, legs just "collapsed" Dr. said that was due to too much pain med...Aug 5th can no longer walk, lost 15 lb., constant burning in one area...went to ER and was in surg the next day. HUGE infection, had to replace ALL hardware T3to sacrum and dr took out a liter of "infection"...that''s my story, hope u r well:-)

    Laura
    So,no warning....just constant burning and inability to walk? That is terrifying!!! We're you alright afterwards? Did you make a full recovery? I sure hope so!

    Pam
    Pam, age 49
    Thoracolumbar curves 80 and 40 corrected to 20 degrees
    April 20, 2012 surgery with Dr. Lenke
    T-3 to sacrum

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