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Almost left hospital with untreated, severe spinal infection


After back surgery, I still had severe pain that was thought to be pressure on the nerves from the surgical scar tissue. I was given a Racz catheter treatment at a local hospital as outpatient surgery in an attempt break up scar tissue and relieve the pressure on the nerve. Needles with a fluid are inserted numerous times to the scar tissue site.

The pain did not go away but got worse. As my wife and I were leaving the diagnostic center, the radiologist came running up to the car to stop us. The MRI showed a severe spinal infection that they said untreated would put me permanently in a wheelchair. It took six weeks of Vancomycin infusion twice a day from a baseball sized container to stem the infection that was cultured and identified as coming from the skin surface.

It was never admitted but tacitly implied by the doctor treating me that the spinal infection likely came from improper sterilization of my skin prior to the Racz catheter procedure.