Possible infection update - does your incision get red?

So I had a pretty serious reaction to the antibiotic I was on and had to go off of it. The next step would have been an PICC line for IV antibiotics. The day I was going to see the infectious disease doctor, I sat on the couch and did nothing all day so my incision was not red and inflamed because this is the only basis on which they suspect I have an infection (my blood work was all normal). The doctor said it looks much better and that we should wait and see what happens over the next week before we try another antibiotic. So my question for the rest of you — does your incision get red and inflamed after being active all day? Mine starts light pink in the morning when I wake up, but after walking around, working out and doing PT, it gets more red, especially at the bottom near my heel. Is this normal? The uncertainty of this infection thing is driving me crazy and I don’t want to go on IV antibiotics if we don’t even know whether I have an infection.

4 Responses to “Possible infection update - does your incision get red?”

  1. serlich –

    Oh no — I’m so sorry that you may have to have a PICC line if things don’t get better. I had some bad reactions to the antibiotics at the IV stage too and had to counteract them with double doses of Benadryl. They made me sleepy the entire day that I took more medical leave for my IV treatment than I did my ATR surgeries.

    The activity placed on my ankle had a direct effect on my swelling and redness. I would take me an entire day to recover from a previous day of PT or more-than-usual walking. My ID doctor said that the ankle is one of the most difficult places to heal. He placed me on diuretics and potassium to control the swelling AND ordered me to stay off my feet when possible, thus having another reason to extend my medical leave.

    Has the ID doctor gone beyond blood tests and taken a culture from your wound? Are you keeping it dry?

    Hang in there with this infection thing . . .

  2. hi sehrlich:

    if your blood work was all normal, what basis does your doctor have that this is an infection? i had a similar case and the doctor ordered three types of blood test (white blood count tests) and concluded that it was not an infection after the results came back.

    currently my incision does get red and more inflamed as the day progresses. this is “normal” for some people. for me, i take off my boot when sleeping and my foot returns to a plantar flexion angle of about 45 degrees. in the morning when i try and put on my boot, it take about 2 mins of adjusting, putting weight on my foot and adjusting again to stretch the tendon to 90 degrees.

    so i attribute the redness and inflammation to the stretching of my tendon during the day which i hope one day will go away. if not, i might have to start sleeping with my boot on.

  3. The only basis on which they suspect infection is that my incision was red and inflamed. The incision is completely healed except for a small scab that is healing fine. I am 12.5 weeks post-surgery, by the way.

  4. i think that at 12.5 weeks post-op, the risk of infection would be pretty low. unless for some reason they had to include any metal in your surgery (which i haven’t heard of from ATRs).

    Sounds like the tendon is inflammed and icing, elevation, rest and potentially inflammation drugs would all help.

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