Read below about poorly healing surgical site, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your poorly healing surgical site from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

This symptom can also be referred to as:
Stitches not healing

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10 Potential Poorly Healing Surgical Site Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Surgical Site Infection

    After surgery, the repair of the incision can become infected with bacteria.

    Recovery time depends on extent of the infection.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, still healing surgical site, painful surgical site, fluid leakage from a recent surgical site, poorly healing surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with surgical site infection:
    still healing surgical site
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  2. 2.Acute Ankle Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the ankle is a bacterial or fungal infection of the ankle bones, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    moderate fever, constant ankle pain, spontaneous ankle pain, warm red ankle swelling, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with acute ankle bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous ankle pain, constant ankle pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  3. 3.Chronic Forearm Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the forearm is a bacterial or fungal infection of the bone, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous forearm pain, moderate fever, warm and red forearm swelling, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic forearm bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous forearm pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  4. 4.Chronic Bone Infection of the Hand (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the hand is a bacterial or fungal infection of the hand bones, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous hand pain, moderate fever, warm and red hand swelling, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic bone infection of the hand (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous hand pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  5. 5.Upper Arm Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the upper arm is a bacterial or fungal infection of the bone, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    moderate fever, constant upper arm pain, spontaneous upper arm pain, warm red upper arm swelling, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with upper arm bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    constant upper arm pain, spontaneous upper arm pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

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  6. 6.Acute Forearm Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the forearm is a bacterial or fungal infection of the bone, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    moderate fever, spontaneous forearm pain, constant forearm pain, warm and red forearm swelling, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with acute forearm bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous forearm pain, constant forearm pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  7. 7.Chronic Bone Infection of the Shoulder (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the shoulder is a bacterial or fungal infection of the bone, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, moderate fever, warm and red shoulder swelling, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic bone infection of the shoulder (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous shoulder pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  8. 8.Hand Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the hand is a bacterial or fungal infection of the hand bones, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    moderate fever, spontaneous hand pain, constant hand pain, warm and red hand swelling, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with hand bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous hand pain, constant hand pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  9. 9.Chronic Upper Arm Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis of the upper arm is a bacterial or fungal infection of the bone, typically caused by Staph Aureus (40-50% of the time). It is difficult to diagnose as the infection can come from a break in the skin at the area or anywhere else in the body that spreads by blood.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, moderate fever, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic upper arm bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous shoulder pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  10. 10.Shoulder Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)

    Osteomyelitis is a bacterial or fungal infection of the bone. It can be acute or chronic.

    Improvement during a 6-week treatment with antibiotics

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, moderate fever, warm and red shoulder swelling, painful surgical site
    Symptoms that always occur with shoulder bone infection (osteomyelitis):
    spontaneous shoulder pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Poorly Healing Surgical Site

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.About your [shoulder], do you notice any of the following?
  • Q.What is your body mass?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our poorly healing surgical site symptom checker to find out more.

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Poorly Healing Surgical Site Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced poorly healing surgical site have also experienced:

    • 5% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
    • 5% Hand Pain
    • 5% Painful Sex
  • People who have experienced poorly healing surgical site were most often matched with:

    • 21% Surgical Site Infection
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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