View Full Version : osteomyelitis

4th July 2007, 04:19 AM
I have congenital scoliosis and had a spinal fusion 5 years ago at Denver childrens hospital. pre-op I had a scoliosis convex to the left of 56 and a compensentory curve in my lower thoracic of 37. I also had some rib cage rotation but I am not sure of the degree. Basically over the past 4 1/2 years I had progressive moderate to severe pain in my shoulder blades that would basically then radiate everywhere in my back. The docs never believed my pain was anything to worry about and told me there was nothing medically wrong with me. I found out last october I have chronic osteomyelitis which is a bone infection that I got in my vertabrae and surrounding tissue. Then last december 15th I went in to the OR again to have the hardware removed and had extensive debriment and irrigation of my back. I was put on IV antibiotics for 8 weeks afterwards via PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter line) to get rid of most of the infection. I also think my curve has been getting worse because I looked at recent med records and from a CT scan the radiology report said I had a curve convex to the left of 45 degrees in my thoracic region. which is wierd because after my inital surgery I had been reduced to about 20 and 14 degrees. Has anyone had this happen after having a scoliosis spine fusion?

4th July 2007, 03:45 PM
Hi Colo88, :welcome:

I'm so sorry to hear you had to have the rods removed due to infection, I hope you're feeling much better now.

With regards to your question about curve progression after fusion surgery, I know it is normal to have some loss of correction shortly after the op as the spine 'settles' into its' new position before the fusion takes hold, but I wouldn't have thought this would be by many degrees. Was it the same consultant who measured the curvature at your more recent appointment? There can be a margin of error in the measurement of the Cobb angle - it's not an exact science by any means - and obviously two different consultants may well measure it slightly differently. Even so, I wouldn't have thought the difference would be quite as big as you quote, I think it would be worth looking into things further, perhaps even getting a second opinion on things. It could be that the curve is progressing above or below your original fusion.

Take care, hope you continue to keep us updated.

Gilly xx

4th July 2007, 04:20 PM
There is always a slight increase after surgery. I would arrange an appointment with your original consultant to dicuss this. When my consultant measured my curve he changed his mind where to measure from and so did my sister's when he measured hers. It does differ.The cobb angle is not 100% accurate as it depends where the person decides to measure it from (they usually have to pick one of two places).
I hope all is well. I will wait and see what others say. Good luck!! :-)

4th July 2007, 06:59 PM
If the measurement was of an xray taken since you have had the rods removed, it is unfortunately possible that removing them has allowed some progression of the curvature now that it is no longer supported.

I have to agree with Gilly, that particularly given the difficulty that you've had getting a diagnosis and treatment at all, if you can find a way to get a second opinion that would be a really good idea.

I'm sorry for what has brought you here, but even so :welcome2:

Little Ali
4th July 2007, 08:27 PM
Hi there,

Sorry to hear about all your problems. Just wanted to say :welcome2:

10th July 2007, 12:38 AM
I want to say thanks to everyone who replied and for the warm welcome!