My 24-year old daughter had spinal surgery to correct a deformity from scoliosis. We never expected it but she developed a very bad infection. We thought everything went so well because the infection didn't show up until weeks later. Does this happen very often?
In general, infection after any spinal surgery is a major risk for all patients. Reports suggest this may happen in up to 10 per cent of all spine patients. Deep infections are expecially problematic. They don't heal well. Often they are resistant to antibiotics.

Late infections are not uncommon either. The body can harbor bacteria for weeks before the patient develops symptoms. This is especially true in younger patients who have a good immune system that tries to overcome the infection. It remains at a subclinical stage until the body can no longer fight it effectively.

Then the bacteria multiply enough to cause pain, fever, pus, and poor wound healing. Treatment is with intravenous antibiotics. Surgery to debride (clean) the wound may be needed. In a small number of cases, skin graft is needed to help bring the edges of the wound together enough to close successfully.