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Thread: What are Chances of Infection Returning?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    18

    What are Chances of Infection Returning?

    Hi,

    When I had my first surgery in 1998, I developed an infection while in the hospital. It was not a staph infection, but something else that two other patients on the same floor also developed. My wound was re-opened and cleaned out, and I went home with IV antibiotics for six weeks. After that, my blood tests never again showed any signs of infection.

    In 2000, I had my hardware removed because it was so uncomfortable for me. In 2002, I had it put back in because I developed two failed fusions. I have not had any indication of an infection since my first surgery. However, because I still have hardware and a history of infection, I am concerned that the bacteria may be dormant in my body and become an active infection some time down the road. Have you ever heard of this happening? Do you know if it is common for people with a history like mine to develop an infection again?

    I am debating whether or not to have my rods removed again. If I know that I have a higher chance of developing another infection with them in, I would be more likely to let the doctor remove them. Otherwise, I am tempted to leave them alone as long as possible. Do you know anything about the chances of these kinds of infections reoccuring?

    Thanks,
    bonniep

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    6,802
    Hi Bonnie..

    I don't think I've ever heard of anyone having a late onset infection after a post-op infection.

    Here are some links to abstracts that might be of interest:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=14588952
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=12768158

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    18
    Thanks Linda, for your quick and informed response.

    First, after reading your reply, I started to feel much better about there being a very low likelihood of developing a late post-op infection. Then, when I started to follow the leads that were in the two articles you referenced, I started to get a little concerned all over again. The info in those articles led me to these six abstracts, and some of them seem to point to there being somewhat of a chance of me developing an infection if my hardware remains. Granted, they donít point to a ďhugeĒ chance, but a fair chance Ö if I am reading them correctly. Do you read them differently? Am I just over-reacting or being a bit of a hypochondriac? Sometimes I get so obsessed with trying to figure this all out that I canít tell whatís real any more. Another personís read of the situation would be very helpful.

    Many thanks again,
    bonniep

    http://www.spinejournal.com/pt/re/spine/abstract.00003086-200306000-00014.htm;jsessionid=CwW6lkHzfo1WFs5sbCKGRS4s9pJoO Odr6wePMJuCNAsUgeNTPMta!-264389797!-949856032!9001!-1

    http://www.spinejournal.com/pt/re/spine/abstract.00007632-200109150-00009.htm;jsessionid=CwXnxgVbv1vZdp9zCC2beGXy2faA2 NhNhxesnfpbZidpk6iy03N1!-264389797!-949856032!9001!-1

    http://www.spinejournal.com/pt/re/spine/abstract.00007632-199807010-00015.htm;jsessionid=CwYMxSYEASnpxZ9Vbip6PhL8NFDeQ TYGoQ2NZ6kPCZJLX21xbn82!-264389797!-949856032!9001!-1

    http://www.spinejournal.com/pt/re/spine/abstract.00007632-200103010-00027.htm;jsessionid=CwYunRGi3OezT8KkwjmRWpQnIRgXe 5c1BnwiMydGfMqkK8cf92ne!-264389797!-949856032!9001!-1

    http://www.spinejournal.com/pt/re/spine/abstract.00007632-199909150-00008.htm;jsessionid=CwZfqGG207nPkVJQFFJNvHq4RHBdn 1ev0L38llW4gwTsh1aQvcqi!-264389797!-949856032!9001!-1

    http://www.spinejournal.com/pt/re/spine/abstract.00003086-200306000-00014.htm;jsessionid=CwajN1WEH2ZVmjgDPNLF0LMM7dSGX xMSgRkZSC1Wu3uivf4zkhEX!-264389797!-949856032!9001!-1

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    Hi Bonnie...

    You have about the same chance of late onset infection as the rest of us, which is about 1-5%. I believe that the rate varies greatly by physician, so you might want to ask your surgeon what his/her late infection rate is.

    Regards,
    Linda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    18
    Hi Linda,

    I think you are right. Thank you for your response and your objectivity. I think I lost mine when I allowed myself to get mired in the drama of all this. Sometimes I get so caught up in being my own patient advocate that I lose touch with the basics and what is really important.

    Thanks again,
    bonniep

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