Non-healing surgical wound

Patient

Q: My husband has had two surgeries on his left elbow due to inflammation and drainage. The first surgery, wound was kept open to heal, but it kept draining and would not heal. Doctor decided to operate again only this time put stitches in to close the wound. Took stitches out and it is still draining. Doctor doesn't know what it is. They have sent samples to the lab, but it did not show infection (growth on slide). What should we do now? Can you give me some insight into what type of doctor to see? This has been going on for four months now.

Doctor

A:   The persistent drainage from the wound along with the failure of the wound to heal likely represent a chronic infection in the elbow joint. Even though previous tests performed on the fluid have not demonstrated any signs of infection. I suspect that the tests done have most likely been aimed at identifying the common causes of an infectious arthritis. It seems clear that the bacteria or other organism responsible for this infection is not easily isolated by the usual tests. I suggest further consultation with an orthopedic surgeon who has special expertise in joint infections and their treatment.

Related Q&A

Q: Blood in stool. How do I tell if its a hemorrhoid or a result of my gastritis getting worse.

Q: I have been HIV for a year and half. I started Striblid 6 months ago. First time i ever took medicine for the vir...

Q: Around 3 months ago I went to the doctors with testicle/groin/kidney pain and was told it seemed it was kidney stones...

Q: Are the chances of getting a hernia increased if the person regularly engages in physical exercise such as weightlift...

Q: Yesterday I had a ultrasound appointment and my doctor stated that the baby hadn't grown in weight for a week and als...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews