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Chronic neck pain due to staph infection
Apr 11, 2004

I was recently diagnosed, in February, with AIDS/HIV when I was hospitalized with a pneumonia. I was immediately given the appropriate antibiotics to fight the pneumonia and shortly there after, put on a anti-HIV medications. At one point I developed a staph infection, again I was give medication to treat this and it has since cleared. During the period that I had the staph infection, I developed chronic neck pain. It is difficult to move my head to the left or right. I was told by my doctor that this could have been caused by the staph infection and he did not seem alarmed, however, I find that if I turn in my sleep, the pain is so intense it wakes me up. This is not something that I can live with. I have started to go to a physical therapist to try to alleviate the pain. He even noticed that my right shoulder blade actually sticks out due to the way I am carrying myself. It has only been a week with the therapist, but I would like to know if this is something that will eventually go away or if there is any other type of therapy that my help. Any thoughts/suggestion would be appreciated.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You don't indicate where anatomically the staph infection was located or whether you had a blood stream infection. It is possible that your symptoms could be the result of local infection which damaged some of the tissue in your neck, or a blood stream infection which did the same kind of thing. There is the possibility of ongoing infection in your spine or surrounding your spinal cord. This seems unlikely in the absence of ongoing or worsening neurologic symptoms. The question arises as to whether an imaging study like an MRI of the neck is necessary to rule out any significant problems.



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