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Can an infection in the bone come back and move to other bones in the body ?

Can an infection in the bone come back and move to other bones in the body? Can a bone infection come back? If the infection is back in the bone, can it go to other bones in the body, like the hip or a wrist? 9 months ago I was diagnosed with a staph infection in my spine at the exact same location as a disc surgery (L5/S1) six months earlier. The infection did NOT show up in my blood work but showed up bright white on a bone scan , which ironically my surgeon had to really fight for (4 of the 5 doctors on the team said no). The abscess , tissue, and infected bone fragments were removed. After the surgery, the infection was then apparent in blood work. I was on heavy duty IV antibiotics thru a pic line for 3 months followed by 3 months of oral antibiotics. Now I am 3 months off the meds and still having pain at the surgery site, and now I am having extreme pain across from it, into my left hip, making it difficult to walk. Also I have woken up on several occasions with pain in my right arm (felt like a broken wrist it hurt so bad) There is no apparent pain by pushing on these sites…there are no lesions, swelling, or redness on the surface or skin. I have been nauseous and often vomiting for many months, and in fact the nausea and vomiting was the main reason I was taken off the antibiotics because I could not keep them down anymore. When I went off the antibiotics 3 months ago, my blood work was clear, so the doc said the infection was gone. However, as stated above, the nausea has continued,( I have lost 20 lbs and counting), and symptoms seem to come and go (some good days and some bad days), pain, extreme fatigue and tiredness , and now for the last 8 days in a row running a low grade fever (99-101f) and soaking night sweats . Can a bone infection come back? If the infection is back in the bone, can it go to other bones in the body, like the hip or a wrist? Can the infection get better without antibiotics? (i.e. Both hips hurt for about a week where I felt like I broke them or something, but now the pain is only in the left hip). The two different infectious disease doctors I have seen just keep doing blood tests which are showing clear for infection. It seems to me that I would need another bone scan or something else to help diagnosis, but when I ask about this I just keep getting the run around…it’s not in your blood bla bla bla? Well it did not show up in my blood the first time so now I do not know who to trust or believe, or what to do next. I now only have 20% of my disc remaining and was told by my surgeon when I left the hospital that I would need another surgery to add a basket and rod. In the mean time I am required to wear a back brace all the time except in bed, and am extremely limited physically on what I can do. I am at lost as to what to do next. What type of specialist should I see? Any help or insight is highly appreciated.
Asked On : Tue, 22 Feb 2011
Answers:  1 Views:  367
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  User's Response
A Gadolinium enhanced/ Indium111 leucocyte bone scan is more specific in diagnosing an infection than the other current modes. However it's done only in some centers in India. Any infection in the body can spread through the blood to any bone causing Osteomyelitis (bone infection). You should be consulting a spine surgeon as well as an infectious disease consultant.
You need to maintain a high protein diet to combat infection.
Answered: Fri, 6 May 2011
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