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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Pain In Arms, Spine And Hips. Underwent Surgery For Pneumothorax And Had Subsequent Infections. Has Infection Spread?

I am a 28 year old, active female. In January I was rushed into hospital with spontaneous pneumothorax, it was collapsed at 90% and bordered a tension pneumothorax. I received numerous lung drains which increased my pain, when a suction machine was placed on,each time I went into spasms and my lung kept collapsing. After three weeks they operated on me. I have had nerve damage all across my right chest and in parts of my right torso. They sent me home with gaping sutures which caused infection. They started me on low dosag of amitriptyline, with pain and inflammatory drugs. Following surgery I could not walk very far, extreme pain and felt like my internal chest was moving, I could not turn on my left side as it interfered with my breathing. Two weeks after being home I had further relapses, they concluded that it did not stick to the chest wall and wanted to complete another pleurectomy with the addition of talc. Until my surgery in mid June I had multiple relapses which they did not aspirate and I was left effectively with an active air leak for a couple months. Since then I have recovered and the thoracic surgeon has discharged me as physically my lung is functioning. They sent me home this time with fluid on my lung that was bit there before, but they said should aspirate itself. I have been left with lots of nerve pain which I am using effluent massage and other methods to manage. I recently have been getting muscular and joint pain that now appears to be radiating into my right Armand thoracic posterior spine. I also have the same pain in my left hip joint. They have reduced my inflammatory medication recently. Is it possible that I still have an infection perhaps that has spread?
Fri, 22 Nov 2013
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Pulmonologist 's  Response
HI,
Thanks for your query.
Your spontaneous pneumothorax must have been secondary one i.e it must have been caused by some underlying lung disease. What I concluded is you underwent bronchopleural fistula which means air leaking from airway into the pleural cavity, which you must have demonstrated as air leaks in the drain while coughing. Surgeon had no choice than to wait for the spontaneous closure of it or via applying mild suction.
Your hip problem may be secondary to your weakness, or else if the primary infection was tuberculosis, it might have caused arthritis of the hip...

Visit an orthopedic surgeon to have some help regarding this...

Best wishes
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Pain In Arms, Spine And Hips. Underwent Surgery For Pneumothorax And Had Subsequent Infections. Has Infection Spread?

HI, Thanks for your query. Your spontaneous pneumothorax must have been secondary one i.e it must have been caused by some underlying lung disease. What I concluded is you underwent bronchopleural fistula which means air leaking from airway into the pleural cavity, which you must have demonstrated as air leaks in the drain while coughing. Surgeon had no choice than to wait for the spontaneous closure of it or via applying mild suction. Your hip problem may be secondary to your weakness, or else if the primary infection was tuberculosis, it might have caused arthritis of the hip... Visit an orthopedic surgeon to have some help regarding this... Best wishes