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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Infected hardware

    I really would have thought I would be past the time that infection would happen but it doesn't appear to be that way. The wound has been treated since September and started out not looking like too much. Little did I know that the red area that just opened and leaked was an underlying infection. What I thought was minor isn't turning out that way.
    The thoracic hardware has been in place since February of 2011. Thought I was good to go but there seems to be another plan.I am on antibiotics now and hardware scheduled for removal on Jan.21.
    MAybe last year's car accident had something to do with this.
    Any one else know what could cause this infection after this time ?
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  2. #2
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    Location
    Northern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    I really would have thought I would be past the time that infection would happen but it doesn't appear to be that way. The wound has been treated since September and started out not looking like too much. Little did I know that the red area that just opened and leaked was an underlying infection. What I thought was minor isn't turning out that way.
    The thoracic hardware has been in place since February of 2011. Thought I was good to go but there seems to be another plan.I am on antibiotics now and hardware scheduled for removal on Jan.21.
    MAybe last year's car accident had something to do with this.
    Any one else know what could cause this infection after this time ?
    Sorry to hear about this. Hope they manage to get it all under control quickly.

    Unfortunately, late onset infection isn't all that uncommon. The infection can sort of lie dormant, under the implants, and show up even years later. I don't know about other surgeons, but Dr. Berven typically collects a tissue sample for biopsy when he does most revision surgeries. Non-symptomatic infections aren't unheard of.

    --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
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
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    Yes, this article explains that trauma exceeds 10%

    Bacteria forms as biofilms on our hardware. These biofilms will go through changes over time....Its something I always wondered about because on some revision surgeries, the hardware does not retain its metallic shine, the rods turn a dull charcoal color.....

    (I do not know how other biomaterials react, for example PEEK or UHMW or PET tethers....)

    https://journals.lww.com/spinejourna...ofilms_.7.aspx

    Jackie, You must feel terrible, go to the hospital if need be.

    You have been through so much. I am so sorry

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    159

    Infected hardware

    I just saw my elbow surgeon for a followup and he remarked that all surgical infections make their way out to the surface. I bet an elbow surgeon doesn't experience many long-dormant infections such as can happen with fusion hardware, though.

    I'm glad it won't be too much longer before you have your hardware removed, Jackieg412, and I wish you the best. If anything new develops, get it looked at or phone your doctor's office.

  5. #5
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    illinois
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    Thanks Tina and Ed and Linda. It has been a rough time since the car accident. The sheer trauma could have done anything. It may have looked okay on X-Ray but you never know. Also the misstep and twist could have injured something. Under the wound is a nerve that activates when the dressing is changed. So medication and antibiotics are being used . The neurosurgeon at Rush ( the one who did both of my broken neck surgeries and saved my ability to funcgion) is aware of the staph infection and is planning on the hardware removal any way. He said the infection won't cure until the source is removed.
    In addition I have reacted to the dressing. Has anyone else reacted to tegaderm?. I will have to inform the surgeon as it is a common dressing.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,120
    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    Thanks Tina and Ed and Linda. It has been a rough time since the car accident. The sheer trauma could have done anything. It may have looked okay on X-Ray but you never know. Also the misstep and twist could have injured something. Under the wound is a nerve that activates when the dressing is changed. So medication and antibiotics are being used . The neurosurgeon at Rush ( the one who did both of my broken neck surgeries and saved my ability to funcgion) is aware of the staph infection and is planning on the hardware removal any way. He said the infection won't cure until the source is removed.
    In addition I have reacted to the dressing. Has anyone else reacted to tegaderm?. I will have to inform the surgeon as it is a common dressing.
    Hi Jackie...

    I react to almost anything adhesive that stays on my skin for more than about 12 hours. Strangely Tegaderm is one of the adhesives that causes less reaction in my case.

    I'm surprised to hear your cervical surgeon say that he can't cure the infection without implant removal. While that's true for some patients, it's definitely not everyone. It may be that he just said it to assure you about the implant removal, which could be necessary regardless of the infection.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28913559

    --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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    159
    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    I really would have thought I would be past the time that infection would happen but it doesn't appear to be that way.
    MAybe last year's car accident had something to do with this.
    Any one else know what could cause this infection after this time ?
    I don't know but allow me to guess.

    A hardware infection many years after surgery can't be from something introduced during the surgery. A hand surgeon I dealt with says those manifest pretty quickly. Infections that develop in the spinal hardware after many years must be introduced some other way. For you maybe it was from your accident.

    Maybe people are getting infections from having dental work done. For the first 6 months after my surgery I was told by my spine surgeon that I must take a dose of antibiotic before having my teeth cleaned. A lot of bacteria is released from the mouth into the bloodstream.

    What if there is still a danger of this happening after 6 months? Maybe spinal fusion patients should be taking an antibiotic before dental work for the rest of our lives.
    Last edited by Tina_R; 04-11-2020 at 06:18 PM.

  8. #8
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    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    4,160

    Infections associated with spinal implants

    Methods quoted for prevention are antibiotic prophylaxis, surgical technique to avoid necrotic tissue, avoiding ‘at risk patients’, reduction of haematomas, optimising surgical conditions and treating co-existing infections.

    Anoxic tissue (Without Oxygen) is a fertile breeding ground for infection.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3282854/

    Tina, I believe I was ordered to take antibiotics for 12 months when visiting the dentist. Continuing antibiotics could present antibiotic resistant bacteria problems down the road...I had a few dental flair ups and was jumpy about taking repeated rounds of Amoxicillan, bought 2 new water pics and now flush out with listerine and have been ok. Periodontal infections can be a drag. They can manifest themselves down low at the base of the roots beyond the flossing and brushing zones. I had a tooth pulled and suffered with repeated bone spurs for 10 months. Painful? Oh Yeah....Sigh They dont warn you about these things at the dentist.

    Ed
    Last edited by titaniumed; 04-12-2020 at 09:44 AM.
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  9. #9
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    Sep 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    Methods quoted for prevention are antibiotic prophylaxis, surgical technique to avoid necrotic tissue, avoiding ‘at risk patients’, reduction of haematomas, optimising surgical conditions and treating co-existing infections.

    Anoxic tissue (Without Oxygen) is a fertile breeding ground for infection.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3282854/

    Tina, I believe I was ordered to take antibiotics for 12 months when visiting the dentist. Continuing antibiotics could present antibiotic resistant bacteria problems down the road...I had a few dental flair ups and was jumpy about taking repeated rounds of Amoxicillan, bought 2 new water pics and now flush out with listerine and have been ok. Periodontal infections can be a drag. They can manifest themselves down low at the base of the roots beyond the flossing and brushing zones. I had a tooth pulled and suffered with repeated bone spurs for 10 months. Painful? Oh Yeah....Sigh They dont warn you about these things at the dentist.

    Ed
    I didn't think a single pill taken every six months would contribute greatly to antibiotic resistance when there are conditions where people go on heavy prolonged rounds of antibiotics. But I don't remember what the antibiotic was and don't know if the dose of that pill is light or heavy.

    Maybe I'm wrong, the surgeon sure is stingy about that antibiotic. He only prescribes me the one pill to be taken an hour before my appointment. No backup so I have to be very careful with that pill, not to drop it between the seats of my car with my slightly tremulous clumsy hands. And what if I get there and the dentist doesn't take me on time and the thing wears off?

    They don't warn you about things at the dentist? They don't warn you about orthopedic surgery either. My dentist is great about communication and everything else, too, she's right up on the latest. She thinks bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding) is related to scoliosis, by the way.
    Last edited by Tina_R; 04-12-2020 at 05:13 PM.

  10. #10
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    May 2008
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    reno,nevada
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    I was a teeth grinder.....after my surgeries that stopped.

    I have had 3 occurances of infection on a 2nd molar and both my dentist and perio recommended taking 500MG X 3X per day for 10 days. And yes you are correct for dental visits usually requiring a small dose 1-3 pills before your visit. (Without a dental infection) I am forgetting these things since its been 12 years for me. There are a few dental threads that were done here on NSF around 10 years ago....1or 2 pills probably isnt a problem but taking full bottles is concerning. I have no problems getting full bottles of amoxicillan from a dentist. They just call it in.

    Scoliosis surgeons try to cover the main complications before you go in....I was guaranteed 100% that something would go wrong. Of course they cant cover everything. Linda has scoliosis surgery complication lists posted here on the forum. Use search.

    Did you ever post your x-rays? Just wondering....

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    I was a teeth grinder.....after my surgeries that stopped.

    I have had 3 occurances of infection on a 2nd molar and both my dentist and perio recommended taking 500MG X 3X per day for 10 days. And yes you are correct for dental visits usually requiring a small dose 1-3 pills before your visit. (Without a dental infection) I am forgetting these things since its been 12 years for me. There are a few dental threads that were done here on NSF around 10 years ago....1or 2 pills probably isnt a problem but taking full bottles is concerning. I have no problems getting full bottles of amoxicillan from a dentist. They just call it in.

    Scoliosis surgeons try to cover the main complications before you go in....I was guaranteed 100% that something would go wrong. Of course they cant cover everything. Linda has scoliosis surgery complication lists posted here on the forum. Use search.

    Did you ever post your x-rays? Just wondering....

    Ed
    My grinding didn't stop with surgery. There are better mouthguards now that are created to balance the forces at work on your teeth. Supposed to correct your bite. I was skeptical but it has calmed down my grinding. It took a lot of work to create it. New technology, my dentist is sharp. But she won't give me an antibiotic, she insists my medical doctor do that.

    I'm glad you feel positively about how your surgeon(s) covered complications with you. I don't feel the same way about my experiences, I feel I was kept in the dark. What good does Linda's complication list do me now? I have already begun my series of surgeries. That first surgery begets more.

    I don't want to post my private medical details. So, sorry, no x-rays and no signature with my stats.
    Last edited by Tina_R; 04-14-2020 at 05:45 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,262
    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    I really would have thought I would be past the time that infection would happen but it doesn't appear to be that way. The wound has been treated since September and started out not looking like too much. Little did I know that the red area that just opened and leaked was an underlying infection. What I thought was minor isn't turning out that way.
    The thoracic hardware has been in place since February of 2011. Thought I was good to go but there seems to be another plan.I am on antibiotics now and hardware scheduled for removal on Jan.21.
    MAybe last year's car accident had something to do with this.
    Any one else know what could cause this infection after this time ?
    I had surgery on Feb 7 to remove the hardware in my femur bone. The metals have been in the thigh for over five years.
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    881
    Good luck to you Melissa. Sometimes it's just a waiting game for what is next. Hopefully all goes well and you can move forward again.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,160
    They are now resuming elective surgeries in Reno....

    Test a few days before and then isolate before going in.

    Hope everyone is ok...

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

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