Ankle surgery with infected re-opened wound, 2 months passed

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Hello, I'm 38 years old and recently suffered a broken ankle (fractured fibula) in my right leg. Unfortunately, the center of the wound became infected and opened up around 2 weeks in, and looks a little bit like a bite from a zombie in The Walking Dead. Anti-biotics haven't done the trick, and wound-care specialists seem to be at a loss. The surgeon is suggesting to take out the hardware he put in just under 2 months ago, as he suspects the hardware is infected and may be causing complications with the healing of the wound. It's been 2 months, and I can't walk without the assistance of crutches. Seems most people are walking by this time. The doctor originally said I'd be walking by 6 weeks, but here we are at 8 weeks and I'm behind schedule. Just wondering if there's anyone out there who has been in a similar boat who may have some sort of advice. 

I'm debating taking out this hardware in hopes that it helps, but I'm also afraid that it could be too soon to remove the hardware, and even concerned about the complications of more infection post-removal, or even the bone requiring a little more time with that plate in. 

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  • Posted

    Hello James, that looks so sore. I can't imagine how frustrating. Did they say what kind of infection.in some cases it's from the hospital.

    The ankle has not responded to antibiotics then it is best to remove the metal. It's simply the only way to erradacate the infection since antibiotics have not cleared it . The infection has adhered to the metal plate . Then a redo. It's worth doing than risking a blood infection which no one wants. 

    So sorry this has happened. I hope you have support family friends . Lots of support on this forum! 👍

    Peace and Healing sent ur way. 

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  • Posted

    Hello James, from the information that I have gathered from my surgeon, bone healing is already acceptable at 6 weeks post surgery. Although its not yet at the optimal healing and strength stage, the contemplated removal of your hardware is more important if there are already doubts about it and infection is starting to set in. The removal of the foreign body (metal hardware) would not only save the healing bone from further damage due to infection, it could also save your life as well. Your doctor would know more about this. I hope this helps and get well soonest
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  • Posted

    I appreciate your responses. When your wound healing goes wrong it's like an episode of Black Mirror, so I figured this website might be good therapy. smile They switched my antibiotics to sulfamettroxazole/trimethoprim which seemed to be far superior to the previous antibiotic and actually seemingly overnight brought down my swelling significantly to where I could actually do a little bit of clumsy walking and physical therapy exercises (toe scrunching and alphabets).  Redness remains around the wound, but it looked to have some progress. My surgery is in two days, so I suppose I will go ahead and remove the metal (Who wants metal in their ankle anyway, if it's not for cyborg reasons?). 

    Thanks to this new antibiotic there seems to be progress for the first time in two months, so maybe things are looking up. 

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  • Posted

    So, yesterday I had the surgery done to remove the plates. Two months of time with hardware in, wound became infected. So the surgeon goes back in through the same infected incision and removes the hardware placed inside to improve me. The X-Rays suggest the bone was mended by the hardware and is good, though I would have liked it to hang out a little longer in there to assure a little more for the trouble, but couldn't keep it in there if it had infected bacteria growing on it. So now after that slow 2 months of recovery getting to where I could sort of walk, I'm back to the drawing board, recovering from a second surgery in the same darned spot before the first was fully healed! 

    I'm wondering if anyone out there has had something similar done. Not sure how many of you have had infected surgical sites, or had your hardware removed. Infected surgical sites are rare, the nurses and surgeon say, especially for someone in their 30's. I've always considered myself pretty good at the hygiene game.  Not sure how much longer this sucker will keep me down and out of work, but I'm running out of Netflix shows and HBO movies to watch.

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  • Posted

    When I looked at your picture I immediately tended up. That is the spot my wound is oozing. After 8 wks I thought that part would be gone. Do you feel soreness in that spot ? I was told I'd be back to work but I'm not.

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  • Posted

    Hi James, how is the ankle doing now, it seems like the infection is very similar to mine, which I'm currently being treated for, Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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