ORIF incision not healed after 7 weeks, leaking fluid

Posted , 5 users are following.

I had ORIF on my ankle 7 weeks ago, an incision on either side to fix a trimalleolar fracture.

One side is healing well, closed and dry. The other side is a 8" incision and the lower half is healing well but the upper four inches or so are bothering me.

They are bright red and leaking a clear/yellow fluid. There's no pain or redness around the wound. There isn't really any blood, they just look a little raw and the clear fluid means they don't dry.

The doctor who took my cast off two days ago saw the wounds and said they were fine but surely it shouldn't be leaking this long after surgery??

I'm also concerned the clear fluid is joint fluid leaking from my ankle, but that may be the result of too much paranoid Googling.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I had a small wound also although mine was not leaking. Mine was because part of the incision was on a fracture blister. They couldn't put a cast on me because they sent me to wound care so I had to be in a walking cast with the promise I wouldnt walk on it. I also was not allowed to start walking therapy until it healed. If you decide to do nothing , they did put something on my would called medihoney with a pad on top which really helps with the healing. Ask you pharmacy where you can get it. However, I think I would have wound care look at it just for piece of mind. The healing process for an ankle is bad enough without taking chances on additional problems.

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  • Posted

    missed your joint fluid comment... i assume you saw that in your google search? What did doc say about that? anyway ...I would not let it go..check it out. good luck

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    • Posted


      I think what might have happened is that the dressing ripped the top of the incision when they took the cast and dressings off on Thursday.

      It does look pretty clean, no redness and it's not sore at all. Hopefully it just needs to dry and scab. The difficulty is whenever I leave the house I have to put the CAM boot and bandage on which then sticks to the wound and makes keeping it aired and dry tricky.

      I have a dr appointment in the week to set up PT so I will speak to them about the wound then too.

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    • Posted

      I have the same exact thing happening. Dr. put me on Batrim ( antibiotic) yesterday.. he also advised to not put anything on the open wound, just change the bandage daily, which takes off the healing part also.

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  • Posted

    Hi Tom

    okay this happened to me. The same side where the long incision is. Bottom half ok, the top half not ok. I was about 8 weeks post p.o. when my scab started to leak yellow fluid. I went back to the hospital where they said It's ok, it isn't infected and they put a water proof dressing over the top with betadine on it, and told me to come back in a week. I went back. The scab came off at the hospital as they were cleaning it. It was all yellow. So they cleaned it up and put a honey dressing on it. This went on for about 3 weeks twice a week. It was dressed and had to keep it dry. Finally I said let's just get some air to the wound as it was healing nicely by then. The nurse said ok. A new,scab had firmed within 24 hrs of it being left open. By 10 days the,scab went black and fell off, wound healed!! Yellow leakage doesn't mean Infection. It just means it's Irritated. But keeping it clean and dry and possibly covered might be a good idea for a,week or two. Now if it gets hot and really red with red streaks going up your leg, then go to the emergency. Keep an eye on it. Keep it clean. Let the water just go over it in the shower, dry off on a clean towel. Put some neospirin on it and cover with a,large bandade. It will heal. It will take time. All the best.

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  • Posted

    Thanks all!

    I saw the doctor and he said it looked like it was healing well and any clear fluid is likely to be from swelling (there is still a lot).

    I bought some Medihoney, cleaned with saline ans applied the Medihoney, dried it with a cool hairdryer and it seems to have made great progress so hopefully it is almost healed now.

    Thanks again!

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