Someone posted here about having this problem. I can't find it now. When I read it just before having my bunionectomy, I was pretty worried. I asked my doctor about whether it is possible to have a bone infection begin as long as 3 months after the surgery, and she said "Absolutely not." According to her, bone infection is a possibility within the first 5 days postop, and tissue infection is possible in the first two weeks, until the incision heals over. She admits that bone infections are "really bad!" and gives all her patients a dose of IV antibiotics just prior to surgery in order to avoid this. She has never heard of anyone getting an infection from the surgery months after it was done.
So I'm wondering--did the person who said they experienced this mean that they really became infected 3 months postop? Or did they get the infection sooner, and mean that it was officially diagnosed 3 months later? If the former, did they get IV antibiotics at the time of surgery? Did they have any predisposing factors, like diabetes? How do they know for sure that the infection was a result of the surgery?
I would think they just found it later. My bone infection was not 100% diagnosed until 2 1/2 months post-op. I started with an abscess and wound infection and it spread from there. And anyone can get bone infections, their not just from trauma.. but if you had some you are more succeptable. My understanding from my infectious disease doc is that if you get an infection somewhere else and are still in the healing process, it is possible to spread to your bone since it is weaker.
The Following User Says Thank You to StephanieVD For This Useful Post: YosemiteJ (05-24-2012)
I think you are refering to me. I had a fusion in Feb. About three months after surgery, I woke up with what I thought was an infected ingrown toenail. I saw my surgeon immediately and she gave me an oral antibiotic. After takinga couple of doses my toe turned purple. I was hospitalized for three days with IV antibiotics. I never said that I had a bone infection. However, there was a cause for concern because the infection was on my surgery foot. Also, my fusion was slightly more complicated because I had a bone graft from my hip, and I had to have a titanium joint removed from the area first.
I was given oral antibiotics for 5 days after surgery to prevent an infection. The reason that I got an ingrown nail was because I was walking differently. The change in my walk caused my nail to put pressure on the nail bed in a way that it had not done before. The scary part was why I was infected, and how quickly it spread.
I apoligze if I mislead you to thinking that I had a bone infection. It now appears that my infection was not because of the surgery, but it could have caused serious problems because of the bones still being soft in the area.
I hope that answers any of your questions.
Thanks for the replies...I probably did not read that post I was thinking of very carefully, but just came away with the idea that bone infections can be a significant risk for a very long time after an osteotomy. I guess there's still a slight risk of any infection spreading to the bone, and bone is more susceptible to infection as long as it's not fully healed...but I'm reassured it is not as big a risk as I'd feared. It sounds like a very scary thing! Hope all of you who are enduring it come out of it well...