Signs of Infection After Back Surgery

Beverly Hills spine surgeons do everything possible to minimize risks for patients. However, most good surgeons will readily admit any type of spinal surgery, including traditional open surgeries and minimally invasive procedures, requires careful observation of how the body is healing after the surgery has been completed. Here are 3 common signs of infection to look for as you recover.

1. Redness Around Incisions

Some degree of redness around a surgical site is normal. What you want to look for is redness that lingers beyond the first few days or changes to a darker hue of red, crimson, or purple. Continued redness is usually a sign something is triggering an infection in the area where the surgery was performed.

2. Excessive Heat

The feeling of warmth around a surgical site occurs because blood flow has increased as part of the body’s natural healing process. This is normal during the first few days after surgery. What’s not normal is warmth that continues or increases during your recovery. It may be a sign your body is sending extra blood cells to the area to combat an infection.

3. Unusual Discharge or Pus

Clear discharge or pus from a wound site following surgery is what you want to see. Bandages or gauze with blood, yellowish pus, or colored discharge isn’t normal. It’s a clear sign there’s an infection within the surgical site itself and should be evaluated as soon as possible.

If you do spot signs of a possible infection after spinal fusion surgery or another procedure, let your doctor or a member of their team know immediately. In most cases, antibiotics can treat an infection around the wound site. However, some infections may have other causes and require a more detailed examination, diagnostic testing, or exploration of the surgical site. Further reduce the risk of infection by following wound cleaning and care instructions.

Just like with any other type of spinal fusion surgery, you also need to pay close attention to aftercare if you’ve undergone any spinal fusion alternatives. Beverly Hills surgeons from The Spine Institute can tell you how to properly care for your body while recovering. Get in touch with us today and schedule an in-person evaluation by calling 310-828-7757.