Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thursday, August 13, 2009 Cjkaty, Community Member, asks

Q: What are signs and symptoms of a MRSA infection in the lower back with hardware?

What are signs and symptoms of MRSA infection in back post surgery?

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Answers (1)
8/13/09 5:23pm

Fevers, chills, and night sweats are common signs of infection. But, sometimes infections can fly under the radar and go undetected for months or perhaps longer. Blood cultures and wound cultures can help catch the offending bug. But, more subtle signs like fatigue and worsening pain can also be part of an infection picture.

 

Recently, I wrote an article about a post surgical infection called Discitis. This case of a post surgical infection was particularly hidden for a long time; eventually, infections raise their ugly heads. When the diagnosis is cloudy and undeterminable, sometimes you have to wait for the ugly head to appear before it can be identified.

 

Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

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Cjkaty, Community Member
8/13/09 8:13pm

Thank you so very much for your response. I was wondering about discitis but I haven't had any real back pain for a long while, my thinking it is being referred to my abdomen. I am scheduled for a closed MRI next week and referral to a neurosurgeon after that with a colonoscope next month. I have had a upper GI EGD series with HIDA and CT. My D-DImer is elevated to 675 but nothing else remarkable. My biposies were all good so I am thinking maybe MRSA from original back surgery 9 years ago. It is true that can lay in hiding quite a while right? My symptoms whatever is causing them are getting worse since acute onset 3 weeks ago in the upper rt quadrant of my abdomen, with pain traveling all over the map. Thank you again Doctor just wish I wasn't in back water America and had access to definitive medical care to get at this sooner than later.

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8/14/09 11:16am

You are very welcome. Localized infections can hide especially when hardware is involved. That is why people who have hardware should take an antibiotic prior to procedures, like dental procedures. The body will not necessarily mount a febrile response to a localized infection. Once the infection spreads to the blood stream and becomes systemic (body wide) then the signs and symptoms become more pronounced. Blood cultures, tissue and wound cultures are the key to identifying an infection. With the bug properly identified, then the right treatment can be given; otherwise antibiotics are a shot in the dark.

 

You might want to find an infectious disease specialist (most major university medical centers have at least one) if you want an expert to look for a possible infection.

 

Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

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Cjkaty, Community Member
8/14/09 9:47pm

Thank you again DOctor for the sound advice. Am I doing wrong by not insisting my DOctor get more agressive in determining if this is the case? MRSA sis not to be messed with I know but it seems the Doctors here are not agressively looking into this as my scheduled appointments seem too far into the future for something this potentially serious.

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By Cjkaty, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/09/14, First Published: 08/13/09