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Thread: New complications?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Staten Island, New York
    Posts
    20

    New complications?

    Hi. My daughter at 14 yrs. old, in 2000, had spinal fusion in NYC. In 2004 she had a revision surgery to cut one of the rods which was a little longer than it should have been. She had been having pain on and off and they felt this could possibly be causing it. (She still has pain in the past year so I don't believe it was the rod.) Her incision opened up as a result of a staph infection and had a third surgery by a plastic surgeon to close it. After 5 years she is mentally very upset since she was originally told she would be back to normal after 1 year. Now she has gotten a kidney infection and her urologist cannot find what is causing it, antibiotics are not working and I can't help but feel it has something to do with her surgeries. Am I totally crazy or has anyone ever heard of kidney infections after spinal fusion. I just don't know what to do for her and her doctors are not much help. Thanks for any input. Grace

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Hi Grace...

    I don't have a clue about whether bacteria introduced during spine surgery could cause a kidney infection. If you're near a university hospital, maybe you can get your daughter referred to an infectious disease doctor??

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    18
    Grace,

    I agree with Linda. I have a medical background and do know that staph infections are nothing to play with. Staph infections can also go into the blood stream and blood is what is needed in the bones to help them heal. Has your doctor checked her blood for infection? I would think that if the blood is infected and the bone is not healing and the infection is setting in around that area then there could be a contamination on the instrumentation. Like I said I am not a doctor or a surgeon, but have a background in the medical field. If that is the case I would hope that they would remove the instrumentation and replace it. Do you know if it is metal or titanium instrumentation? Maybe she is alergic to metal and/or titanium. Just a thought.

    Hope this helps

    Dawn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Staten Island, New York
    Posts
    20

    New Complications

    Thanks for your responses. Could you explain thoracoplasty? From what I read on this forum it has something to do with the rib hump. My daughter Caras rib hump seems to be worse since her surgery. Her right breast is definitely smaller also. What does the surgery involve to help it? I would appreciate your answer. Also, Her first Surgeon in 2000 was Dr. Richard Ulin. Then we had Dr. Paul Kuflik do her revision surgery in 2004. He is in the Spine Institute with Dr. Michael Neuwirth. They wouldn't let her see Dr. Neuwirth since we alread saw an associate in his office. Am I crazy, but if she need a 2nd revision I was thinking of Dr. Boachie-Adjei since he has an excellent repuation. Does other patients change Drs. Is it not a good thing to do?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Hi...

    I personally think it's often a good idea to change surgeons if you're not completely happy with results, or need additional surgery. However, in your case, I think it's also a good idea to talk to Dr. Kuflik about why your daughter's rib hump is larger. I think your daughter would be in great hands with Dr. Boachie.

    A thoracoplasty involves the removal of small segments from each rib involved in a rib hump. You can read about the procedure here:

    http://www.iscoliosis.com/treatment-...acoplasty.html

    Regards,
    Linda

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    complications

    I agree with Linda. An infectious disease doctor dedicates all his practice to ferreting out these problems.

    People get kidney infections all the time totally unrelated to scoliosis surgery.

    Regarding the hump. Unless a thoracoplasty was planned for the first surgery the hump does not disappear with straightening of the spine. The ribs maintain that shape unless reshaped by thoracoplasty. (That bone from the thoracoplasty is an excellent source of bone for fusion). In my case, as a 14 year old in 1956, I had a 100 deg thoracic curve reduced somewhat and no thoracoplasty was ever done those days. That hump pained me psychologically my whole life because it was so large and pointed. At age 60 I had it reduced 80% with my revision-much to my delight.

    Karen
    Last edited by Karen Ocker; 08-16-2005 at 08:36 PM.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,801
    Hi Karen...

    I think some people get a lot of correction of their rib humps without thoracoplasty. I think it depends on the amount of derotation accomplished during surgery, along with the size of the rib hump. Unfortunately, I've heard from people who say they got good correction of their rib humps without thoracoplasty, but that the rib humps seem to reappear over time. I've yet to figure out why that happens.

    Regards,
    Linda

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