If you’ve been dealing with back or neck pain, you may be eager to get your scheduled spine surgery to get the relief you are seeking. However, it’s important not to rush into a surgical procedure if you are ill unless there is an urgent reason. Dr. Daniel Reid, Orthopaedic surgeon and spine specialist with CMC Orthopaedics, explained why it is risky to have spine surgery if you have a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other infection.
Can I have spine surgery if I have a UTI?
Infections can occur for various reasons and can’t always be prevented. If you end up with a UTI or other illness like the flu or a respiratory infection, you need to let your surgeon know before your surgery because there could be risks involved with going through with the procedure.
“Generally for elective spine surgeries we don’t want to perform a procedure on anyone who has an active infection anywhere in their body,” said Dr. Reid. “The spine is incredibly vulnerable. So you don’t want to knowingly operate when there is an increased risk of infection already.
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Your risk of infection increases if you have a UTI or active infection at the time of your surgery. Therefore your surgeon needs to assess your unique circumstances to determine the best course of action. “Your health and the success of your surgery is most important,” said Dr. Reid. “So a UTI often can delay a spine surgery or other orthopedic surgery, but it won’t generally prevent you from having it. Most urinary tract infections can be cleared in one to two weeks and once it is cleared, we can proceed with the surgery.”
Are there situations when spine surgery will still be performed?
One of the biggest deciding factors for your doctor performing your surgery while you have a UTI or other infection is whether or not it is emergency surgery. “If it’s an urgent or emergent need, then even with a UTI we would go ahead and proceed with the understanding that there is a little bit of a higher risk of infection at the surgical site in that situation,” said Dr. Reid. “ That increased risk is why we would delay surgeries in elective cases that can technically wait. Obviously, in severely urgent or emergent situations we would have to proceed for the best interests of the patient and then closely monitor them.”
If you are sick in the days leading up to your surgery, be sure to have a conversation with your surgeon. At CMC Orthopaedics, Dr. Reid’s main concern is making sure you have a successful surgery so that you can get back to life. If he feels that your UTI could put your recovery at risk, your surgery may be delayed to ensure that the end goal is met and you have a positive outcome.
In need of a spine expert?
Don’t let spine pain keep you from your everyday activities. Contact Dr. Daniel Reid with CMC Orthopaedics at 843-347-8041 or request an appointment today. He would consider it a privilege to care for you.