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: Hi, I have a skin rash/hives on my scalp, the back of my neck and ocassionally on the middle of my back since one an...

Q: I used the neti pot with batteries (force) for my nasal, it went straight up and came out the other side. But now I f...

Q: Had sore inside of nose, whenever scab would be removed it would bleed something terrible. I was at the dr. for anoth...

Q: I ordered a sofa off of the internet and i wouldnt receive it until February so I rented a couch from Rentacenter abo...

Q: I get nauseous if I have fluid/food in my stomach (or if bowels not empty) ... but only when I bend over/lift/move st...

 
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