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Thread: Im so confused about my upcoming surgery

  1. #1
    Senior Member ryano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    North Georgia

    Red face Im so confused about my upcoming surgery

    Sorry in advance this is a little long

    As some of you know, I went last Monday (June 20) to the Shepherd Center and had their plastic surgeon look at my wound that reopened after a flap surgery that was done back in November. He said definitely surgery is needed AGAIN and ask me when would I like to get this done. I told him "as soon as possible" and he said he thought he could get me in within 3 weeks.

    He ordered Pre Op to be done then and there and said it would be good for 30 days. They took blood, swabbed my nose and groin and done a few other things including weighing me and sent me home and said they would be in touch.

    Well I get a letter today from the Surgeons's office saying my surgery will be on July 21st. It didnt say anything about a time and told me to call the Shepherd Center and schedule my Pre Op?

    Yeah it was a standardized letter but thats 32 days past my Pre Op and well past the "within 3 weeks" I was told. Of course by the time I got home the Shepherd Center clinic office was closed.

    Also, after reading so much around here I am paranoid about osteomyelitis (sp?) and I do not believe I have ever been checked for this the first time even when I was dealing with the original wound last year and that bothers me a little. I understand this is only done by MRI and I know for a fact I have not had one of those.

    I dont think I have it because bone has never been exposed and I dont have the symptoms but I want to be SURE that NOTHING happens that might delay or complicate things and am just wondering why I wasnt checked for this by a hospital that is so well versed and "reputable" with Spinal Cord Injury and secondary complications like pressure sore treatment. I believe they done 55 of these surgeries just last year and have a 95% success rate.

    I guess Im just worrying too much but should I speak up or just let them do their thing? Also I wonder why my surgery is scheduled for two days past when the Pre Op is suppose to be good for? This wait is about to kill me. I am SO ready to get this going that I would check in down there tonight if they would let me.

    Thoughts? I will be on the phone first thing in the morning with questions but just wanted to see what others here think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Oregon usa
    Insist to be checked for osteomyelitis!! I have had a few wounds that got down to bone and my mom would ask about the possibility of osteomyelitis every chance she got, well all the doctors would just shrug it off. Last year I got a MRI and found my whole hip is basically gone and most of my pelvis is infected to. Other than taking bacturm I am pretty much out of options at this point. If you get checked before the flap they can fix it while they are in there, if you find out later they will have to open everything back up. I can't help with the other questions though.
    c3/c4, injured 2007

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Someplace between Nowhere and Goodbye
    I've been over the 30 day pre-op thing a time or two. Doc said it was cool.
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  4. #4
    Ryano, always, always speak up when anything related to your health doesn't make sense to you and/or your concerns and questions aren't addressed to your satisfaction. Don't accept the brush off or partial answers. If need be, make a polite pest of yourself.

    That said, surgeons are not known for knowing their own schedules or OR availability off the top of their heads. Any date they throw out without speaking to their scheduler is going to be a guesstimate.

    Re your osteomyelitis concerns -- keep raising them (see my first paragraph). It could e that the surgeon isn't concerned because your white blood cell count is normal, indicating no infection. But if you're worried, keep asking until your concerns are addressed.
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar

  5. #5
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    Definitely be pro-active on osteo. You're the best doctor and patient advocate you have. Say the exact thing you said here because it makes perfect sense.

    (It's *possible* to show up on xray, MRI is best but nothing is definitive until they get in there and see ... I've never had a bone biopsy though SCI-Nurse has discussed that method before).
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  6. #6
    I do like Lynnifer said plus I also bring a notbook ( doodle pad ) with me full of important questions , anything that comes to mind so I can ask the Dr's surgeons etc... Every detail is so important

    Many of times I just use my printer to do so being my writing is for the pitts
    Make copies if you can .

    Wishing you the best

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    East Coast, USA
    I had osteo and am an amputee because of it. I read the first sentence of your post and knew what was coming. Your flap doesnt' keep opening unless something is wrong. Do yourself a huge favor and dont' have flap surgery again until you find how far the bone infection has gone. i went 2 1/2 years trying to redo the flap before figuring out it was a bone infection and losing my leg (dont get me wrong, amputation gave me my life back) but had we discovered it as a bone infection the first time the flap opened, maybe i'd still have my leg. Yes sometimes the flap can open becasue our skin integrity stinks but check for something bigger first. Don't wait. I did..big mistake..
    Liza R. McCollum

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