Bad Odor coming from incision, Over reacting or misdiagnosed???
I am 28 and I had surgery on monday on my leg superior tibia that had been fractured since 11/28/06. My doctor finally decided to do surgery after 10months of no bone growth. I thought I had an infection a couple days after surgery and my postoperative appointment was not until another week. I opted to see the PA instead of my doctor and he looked at my leg and said the swelling, redness, and soreness was normal. I felt quite silly even though going in to the doctor I strongly felt it was infected, it was even warm to the tough compared to the other leg.. The next day I took off my ace bandage to clean around the incision and before I even took off the cloth that protected the incision, a horrible odor came out. I took off the gauze and almost gagged on the smell. I am going to school to be a nurse, I am currently a C.N.A, and I have never smelled anything like this before. I cannot explain it but its horrible and I do not want to make an appointment to go in and look completely silly again, but I do not go to the doctor until Friday for my post op. I do not want to over react and I do not want to have permanent damage. I have no fever but I cannot explain that something just is not right, when should I be worried. In addition, when should I have it looked at again?
Remember that when you have surgery preformed, you are typically instructed not to bathe the wound for several days. What you are smelling might be the scent of skin oil and body fluids becoming terribly ripe - as for the swelling and redness, it is normal, yes...you've just been cut on and sewn back up, your body will react to that kind of treatment.
However, it could be infected, and it doesn't -matter- if you look silly...far better to feel a little embarrassed and KNOW that there's nothing wrong than to let your leg rot off because you don't want to feel stupid asking a doctor to examine it. Doctors are not infallible, they are human, and humans do make mistakes from time to time even if they got straight A's in med-school.
Minor swelling and minor redness are normal. There should NOT be a very foul odor coming from the incision.
If it is red (especially if the redness is expanding), swollen, painful to the touch, and much warmer than the other leg, you should call the on call doctor today (you can reach him/her by calling the office # and listening to the instructions about what to do in the off hours). If not, you should definately be seen tomorrow. By the doctor this time.
Better safe than sorry. If there is an infection, and it is untended and travels to the bone, you will be in big, big trouble. Better to have it seen than not.
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