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Posted in: Back pain, Neck pain, and Surgery.

Gram Negative Rod (Citrobector) Infection

Started by Barry J on 06/26/2017 6:52pm

I am a 73 year old male with a history of serious spine conditions over the past 25 years. I have had 3 lumbar surgeries and 3 cervical surgeries. I have 15 levels fused in my spine. I have titanium rods, screws and brackets. Approximately 2 weeks after my last cervical surgery (2 years ago) I contracted a Gram Negative Rod (Citrobector) infection. That incident put me back into the hospital for 10 days to fight the infection. During that time I had to have another surgery to remove all the affected tissue in that area, which in of itself, caused even more suffering.

The surgery did not turn out well and I am still having the same problems I had before the surgery. Now I am told that no surgeon would be willing to go back in that surgical site because of the infection. I am told that going back in there could cause a dormant infection to flair up again. Is this true?

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1 Response


Hi, Barry J--thank you so much for taking the time to post. We can't imagine all you've been through over the past 25 years, and we are so sorry to read about your bout with spinal infection.

We aren't medical professionals, so we can't confirm your question about whether a dormant infection could come back. We generally recommend people trust the advice of their medical professionals. At the same time, we encourage people to seek a second opinion if they feel like their current medical team isn't a fit--or if they simply want to confirm something their doctor said that they're unsure about.

Here's an article about second opinions that we hope will help ( Second Opinions: Five Things About This Patient Right ).

Just because one person tells you that no doctor will treat you doesn't make that the case. If a second doctor agrees with your current doctor on the infection point, there may be other options besides surgery to manage your pain. We wish you the very of luck!