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Had surgery for Olecranon bursitis. Pain in elbow. How would I know that it is serious enough to go to another country for treatment?

Hi - live in Tanzania, East Africa. Hospitals / docs not great: 3 months ago had surgery to remove / treat olecranon bursitis . Was stitched, not splinted, no drain.Wound healed, then split and formed a hypertrophic scar that constantly dripped a straw colored fluid. Month later, 2nd surgery to clean - much larger wound, stitched. Stitched, no splint, no drain. Seemed to heal, then 2 weeks later pink tinged fluid poured out. Small 3rd surgery to clean and stitch. Elbow then swelled up and was spongy. week later burst at original burst site and has not stopped dripping fluid since. Have had 5 antibiotics in 3 months. Now, bottom part of wound has healed well, Top part, above elbow (onto tricep) is inflamed with visible patches of what looks like pressure underneath. Original hole still seeping and now another, very small one has opened and seeps - abt 1 cm up tricep area of surgery. Incredible pain developing - in the area directly where tri joins elbow (I imagine, am not a doc - this is just where I think it must be joining. Incredibly difficult to lift arm or to bend. CAN bend it - if I ignore the pain, but any movement requiring effort on that back part of elbow causes pain. Lately, too, coughing or even a deep breath causes a sharp pain in the area. Can t take NSAID s (allergic) and am living on muscle relaxants at moment which actually make no difference at all. Have been back to the doc here, took a swab – and, typically, no news yet (over week later – very typical of TZ: just no expertise) Am concerned the bone is now getting infected…how would I know (to a certainty that could give me enough reason to take a long plan trip to a country that has better facilities? What could be the problem - causing constant drip, inflammation, tri/ joint pain and pain on coughing? Many thanks, kl
Asked On : Fri, 15 Jun 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  112
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Orthopaedic Surgeon 's  Response
you have a significant ongoing infection in and around your elbow following your surgery. you need investigation with blood work, X-ray and an MRI scan. you will likely need further surgical debridement and intravenous antibiotic therapy.
Answered: Sat, 12 Apr 2014
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