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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM
Problems from a previous surgery an mulitiple infections.
About 1 year ago my husband started noticing spots on the bottom of his feet and his right leg began getting puffy, warm and red. The redness grew quickly over several hours. He went to a Urgent care Facility and they had no idea what it was so he went to the emergency room at a local hospital. It took the doctors several hours to determine that he had Cellulitis. He was admitted. During the next couple of days the hospital had a Podiatrist visit. The doctor came to see him several times. After he was released, he seen the Podiatrist several times and she scheduled a surgery to cut and shorted the bone in his foot to relieve pressure. She placed a metal screw in his foot to keep the bones together and she said that he would have it the rest of his life. After about 4 months, my husband got the Cellulitis infection back along with Strep and Staph. this time he was admitted into a different hospital and they recommended different doctors. The new Podiatrist and infection doctor told us that the Podiatrist that did the surgery before should not of put a metal screw in his foot because it can hold an infection, make healing slower and infections harbor around the metal. They also told us that the screw needed to be removed because it was making things worse. Also, they told us that the special shoes that was made for him were the wrong size. During all of this they were positive that he would lose 2 toes and possibly his foot because the infection was hard to
control. They even told us that having all 3 infections at the same time could be deadly. This led to another surgery, Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments, lots of medicine, another hospital stay, a PIC line and ongoing doctor visits. He missed work for over 2 months. It was really scary and we are still fighting. Everything is getting really expensive and it has put us behind in bills. We were told that the doctor that did the first surgery should of never done surgery while he had Cellulitis and should be held responsible. What is your opinion? This has cause a lot of stress and depression for my family and husband.
Keep in mind I am answering your question based on your description of the events,and have not been privy to medical records, but in general terms, where there has been an infection, you want to avoid implanting any hardware as the hardware (screw) can be a focal point for infection.
I am unclear what caused the original infection , nor do I know anything about your husband's overall medical health, but in my mind, unless the first surgery was to treat a bone infection,or drain an abscess (and in both cases you would never implant hardware) there is no reason a proposed elective surgery could not have waited a longer period of time until the foot was completely healed and any chance of ongoing infection was eliminated.
Now because your husband had to have the screw removed, even once the infection is completely resolved there is a chance he will have problems with the bone that was shortened
Marc Mitnick DPM
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