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Thread: Infection of Rods after 5 years???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    26

    Question Infection of Rods after 5 years???

    Hi. My name is Jill and I am new to this forum. I found this site, while trying to self-diagnose myself on the internet (I know....not a good idea).

    I had Scoliosis surgery in 2000, and had rods attached to my spine. Although I have had continuous pain for the past 5 years, nothing compares to what I am going through right now. Last weekend, my physician sent me to the ER in fear that I had an infection in my rods. Over the past 1 1/2 weeks I have been experiencing swelling and redness along my lower spine. I ended up getting x-rays and blood tests, and everything looked normal other than my white counts were low. I waited to speak to the neurosurgeon on call and he is not sure what it is at all. He is sending me for more tests tommorow...an ultrasound, and an MRI. I guess once the results come back, we'll take it from there...but they've even started talking about surgery if the swelling continues to escalate.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has experienced this before??

    It seems the more I do, the worse the swelling gets. It is quite painful, and the only time I'm somewhat comfortable is when I'm lying down. Also I've had a whole whack of flu symptoms for quite sometime. I just wish that the surgeon would have told me something useful, and I wish I wasn't in such an "unknown territory". It seems odd for an infection to develop now (5 years post-surgery), perhaps it's something completely different?

    Any comments/suggestions/insight would be greatly appreciated.
    Jill

    Diagnosed in 1998
    55 Degree S Curve
    Idiopathic Scoliosis surgery in 2000 in Vancouver, BC
    Performed by Dr. Stephen Tredwell

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Hey Jill,

    I just had a yearly physical and they ran my blood tests twice because my white count was lower than normal. They said that imflamation can cause the white count to be low. Usually with an infection the white count goes up. Hopefully it's not an infection.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Jill...

    Can you be more specific about location of the swelling and redness? Is it a vertical line right over the incision?

    --Linda

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    26
    My incision runs from my neck to my tailbone. The swelling/redness is only on the lower right handside and runs vertical along the length of my scar.

    Over the past couple days, it has become more intense, and has become very hard to touch (feels somewhat like a rock). My GP is sending me for a bone scan tommorow and another paraspinal ultrasound on Friday. I am hoping that one of these tests brings will actually tell us what it is.

    It's funny that you mentioned that low WBC can mean a sign of inflammation, because that is exactly how I described it to begin with. They did my blood tests again, and once again the WBC is low. After they get my bone scan results, they are going to send me to some test where we can find out what is causing the WBC to be low.

    They have also just put me on percocet to help with the pain. It has given me unbelieveable side effects, but not having to deal with the continual pain is a good thing.....i guess.
    Jill

    Diagnosed in 1998
    55 Degree S Curve
    Idiopathic Scoliosis surgery in 2000 in Vancouver, BC
    Performed by Dr. Stephen Tredwell

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