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Thread: Fever anyone?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    189

    Fever anyone?

    Ok, this is beginning to get old. I was having trouble initially with a fever but it was determined it was being caused by the lining of my lungs needing more exercise. I don't know how many of you had to use a spirometer post op but I did. You emply your lungs as much as you possibly can and then slowly suck air in through a tube to inflate your lungs as much as possible. This registers the air volume in the lungs. It has something to do with exercising the lining to prevent pneumonia. You all are probably familiar with this exercise but thought I'd explain just in case. I quit using it too soon and started running a fever but took care of it by beginning the process again. I'm now almost 3 weeks post op and find myself running a fever of almost 101* again. My temperature normally runs a little low. GRRRRRRRRRRR! I just can't imagine it's that again. Can anyone shed any light on the situation? My husband thinks it's because I overdid it yesterday but I don't think so. I felt really great this morning and like s&*# tonight.

    Help?
    Becky, 46 years old
    Diagnosed at 13 with mild scoliosis
    Ignored until 448/07
    Left thoracic 49* T5-T11
    Right thorocolumbar 60* T11-L4
    Surgery Monday, June 9, 2008 Oklahoma Spine Hospital
    Fused T-10 to L-5
    14 titanium pedicle screws
    Corrected to approx. 10* YEA!!!
    Email

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    360
    Could it be something else such as a urinary tract infection? I had a fever of 100 degrees due to a UTI after my surgery. I was also told it's normal to have a low grade fever after a surgery as your body is working overtime, but 101 is kind of high. Do you have any pneumonia symptoms or possibly a sinus infection? How does your incision look? Is it warm to the touch? Sorry I couldn't be of much help.

    Shell
    Chemist, 30

    1998- 18 degrees
    2003- 33 degrees
    2005- 37 degrees
    2006- 44 degrees
    May 2007- 47 degrees
    December 2007 - 50 degrees X-ray

    Surgery May 27, 2008
    Fused T1 to L2
    Curve corrected to 15 degrees X-ray

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    189
    Sweetheart, you ARE a help simply by responding! I'm not ruling anything out so any and all ideas are welcome.

    As far as I know I don't have any pneumonia symptoms. I've never had it so I'm not sure I'd know. My scar looks wonderful! I really don't think it's a UTI since I'm drinking about a gallon of water a day. No exageration. I used to be a Diet Cokeaholic, now it's unusual if I have one a day. Water is all I want.

    I don't have any sinus symptoms but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I think I'll go back to making myself lightheaded on the spirometer and see if that helps. If it's not better by Monday, I'll call the doc.

    I'm still open to anything so keep the ideas rollin' in!
    Becky, 46 years old
    Diagnosed at 13 with mild scoliosis
    Ignored until 448/07
    Left thoracic 49* T5-T11
    Right thorocolumbar 60* T11-L4
    Surgery Monday, June 9, 2008 Oklahoma Spine Hospital
    Fused T-10 to L-5
    14 titanium pedicle screws
    Corrected to approx. 10* YEA!!!
    Email

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Becky, pester your doctor to find out what's going on ... I don't think you should be running fever (particularly 101) from "overdoing it". You need to find out what's causing it, and it could be something completely unrelated to surgery.

    And, yeah. I used the inspirometer post-op ... and even longer than I was told to when my ribs hurt, and to increase my lung capacity for the 5K: It's a great way to combat lung/rib discomfort - AND HEAL - so don't be lax about it, Missy !!

    (I still actually pull mine out occasionally at almost 5 mo's post-op)

    Regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    9,267
    In the hospital, the nurse told my daughter that she can bring down any mild fever just by using the spirometer. And as far as I can tell, it worked.

    That said, I think there must be some limit on when you should be running a fever due to the surgery alone.

    I think you need to rule out some other reason, especially if you can't bring the fever down by breathing.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    189

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by txmarinemom
    Becky, pester your doctor to find out what's going on ... I don't think you should be running fever (particularly 101) from "overdoing it". You need to find out what's causing it, and it could be something completely unrelated to surgery.

    And, yeah. I used the inspirometer post-op ... and even longer than I was told to when my ribs hurt, and to increase my lung capacity for the 5K: It's a great way to combat lung/rib discomfort - AND HEAL - so don't be lax about it, Missy !!
    Yes, ma'am! And I agree on the rib discomfort. I really didn't believe it would help but it does. I'll be very diligent with it this weekend but if I show even a sign of a fever Monday, I'm calling the doc.

    By the way, Pam, I was hoping you'd come up with the proper name for the little device. The meds still have my brain a little foggy. Alright, a lot foggy!

    Thank you too, Pooka1. I agree. I think something else is going on and it needs to be checked into.

    Thanks all! You're the greatest!
    Last edited by skoshi314; 06-28-2008 at 10:20 PM.
    Becky, 46 years old
    Diagnosed at 13 with mild scoliosis
    Ignored until 448/07
    Left thoracic 49* T5-T11
    Right thorocolumbar 60* T11-L4
    Surgery Monday, June 9, 2008 Oklahoma Spine Hospital
    Fused T-10 to L-5
    14 titanium pedicle screws
    Corrected to approx. 10* YEA!!!
    Email

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,978
    Becky-- I was gone yesterday... but yes, I agree you need to contact your doctor. Maybe even call him today if your fever is still high... I know that my initial release papers said to call if a fever went over 101, and those instructions were for the first 3 weeks after surgery, until my 1st appointment. It's always better to be safe than sorry, and something's causing the fever. I don't see any way that overdoing it could be the culprit...

    Let us know how you are getting along and what the doctor says. Susie
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Becky, you haven't said ... are you taking anything (i.e., pain meds) that contains a fever reducing drug? I got to thinking how likely it is you are (so soon after surgery) and wondering "Is it 101 ON meds?!?". If so, I'm really concerned.

    I think Susie's suggestion to contact your doctor is prudent. Ask if he'll meet you at the ER, and if not, at least go ahead and have bloodwork done so you're ahead of the game this week when you can get in to see him ...

    As I said before, it may be *completely* unrelated to surgery, but the last thing you need right now is to get sick (I can't recall now who the poor person was here that got the flu after surgery, but I just remember thinking "UGH!").

    Take care of yourself, girlie ...

    Hugs,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    189
    Thanks, ladies, you're the best! The thing is it isn't all the time and that's part of what confuses me. It tends to come and go. Pam, I'm on Oxycontin, OxyIR which is Oxycodone Immediate Release and Soma. I don't think any of those have any fever reducing properties. I'm also taking Keflex which is an antibiotic. I seem to be fine this morning so I think I'll wait until later today and see if it comes up again. I just keep thinking how much I don't want an infection in the hardware. I know it's extremely rare, but still........

    I'll let you know how it's going. I just don't have the words to tell you all how much it means to me that you care. You are the greatest group of people anywhere! Thanks!
    Becky, 46 years old
    Diagnosed at 13 with mild scoliosis
    Ignored until 448/07
    Left thoracic 49* T5-T11
    Right thorocolumbar 60* T11-L4
    Surgery Monday, June 9, 2008 Oklahoma Spine Hospital
    Fused T-10 to L-5
    14 titanium pedicle screws
    Corrected to approx. 10* YEA!!!
    Email

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    189
    Yea, I am feeling pretty good this morning, but that kind of seems to be the pattern. Yesterday, for instance, I woke up feeling really good. I even got the bills caught up, so filing done and some other little jobs done, nothing tough I promise. About 7pm I felt the fever start up. Sure enough when I took it there it was. I used the inspirometer hoping that would take care of it but it didn't. I finally took some Motrin and that helped to a certain degree but I just felt achy all evening. Then I got up this morning ready to start in again.

    Pam, in my opinion, you aren't nagging. You simply care enough to ask the questions and for that I'm so grateful. You are all such a caring group. I know I keep saying it and maybe I'm feeling a little sappy this morning, but I just appreciate you all so much.
    Becky, 46 years old
    Diagnosed at 13 with mild scoliosis
    Ignored until 448/07
    Left thoracic 49* T5-T11
    Right thorocolumbar 60* T11-L4
    Surgery Monday, June 9, 2008 Oklahoma Spine Hospital
    Fused T-10 to L-5
    14 titanium pedicle screws
    Corrected to approx. 10* YEA!!!
    Email

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    254
    Becky,

    Please check with your surgeon, I was not allowed to take Motrin until 8 or 9 months post op, it will keep the bones from fusing in some.
    Patty 51 years old
    Surgery May 23, 2007(43 Birthday)
    Posterior T3- L4
    Pre surgery curves
    T-53degrees
    L-38degrees
    and a severe side shift to the right.
    Post surgery curves
    Less than 10 degrees
    Surgery April, 2006
    C4 - C6

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    189
    Oh, wow, I hadn't even thought of that! Thank you so much for the advice and yes, I'll check with them first thing tomorrow.
    Becky, 46 years old
    Diagnosed at 13 with mild scoliosis
    Ignored until 448/07
    Left thoracic 49* T5-T11
    Right thorocolumbar 60* T11-L4
    Surgery Monday, June 9, 2008 Oklahoma Spine Hospital
    Fused T-10 to L-5
    14 titanium pedicle screws
    Corrected to approx. 10* YEA!!!
    Email

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    42
    Hi Becky, I've been following your recovery, but haven't had much time to post since I only had three weeks notice for my surgery date, which is coming up this Thursday, 7/3. I'm having the save levels fused as you. I've been very, very busy getting everything in order... I would be concerned about an intermitent fever - to me it seems like your immune system is really trying to fight something off, and does so effectively for a while, but every so often it is overloaded, and hence the fever starts in again. I once contracted Viral Meningitis only because my immune system was working overtime because I was working in a medical clinic in a sugar cane field in the Dominican Republic, where the water we had to wash our hands with was bacteria laden... We all get exposed to the VM virus, but it only gets through when the immune system is overloaded. Kind of a long explanation/example, but I would be very careful to document what you do every day, and each time the fever starts, and how long it lasts, to try and give the docs something concrete to start with. I hope this will all be resolved for you very soon. Take extra good care of yourself! You don't need any extra complications at this time! Blessings, Lisa
    Lisa, Portland, OR
    49 y.o.
    46 degree curve L1-L5, mild T curve
    L5-S1 healthy, thankfully
    Lumbar stenosis, osteoarthritis, lumbosacral sponsylosis
    T11-L5 fusion 7/3/08

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Staten Island New York
    Posts
    298
    Becky

    If your fever returns or your pains increases go to your surgeon and ask for a blood test to check for an infection.

    Sue

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    bucks county PA
    Posts
    156
    PLEASE PLEASE check with your surgeon! I don't want to scare you but my low grade fever skyrocketed to 104 and I had a staph infection. I will be fighting this a while after having been opened up again and cleaned out. NOT fun! Better safe then sorry.
    Good luck, maybe it won't be anything serious.
    2 60* curves, DDD, left trunk shift, some rotation, rib and lumbar humps, annular tear at L5-S1
    surgery 5/08 planning fusion T3 or T4 to sacrum with iliac fixation
    Dr. Anderson at Rothman Institute
    5/16/08 ALIF L1-L5
    5/23/08 fused T2-sacrum w/fixation and I'm all Titanium
    6/4/08 open all back up to clean out for Staph infection
    (left open with just clear dressing)
    6/6/08 recleaned and closed
    3/30/2012 revision planned, broken rod and removal of iliac bolts

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