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Delayed Infection
September 2001

Q. A few years ago I had skinned my shin and foot playing volleyball while on vacation in Mexico. Occasionally I would get pain in the area which I had injured. Lately it has been chronic. I am active in sports, but while I am engaged in physical activity the pain subsides. It is not until I am relaxed that it becomes bothersome. Any thoughts? An infection wouldn't take three years to manifest itself...would it?

A. You're right that an infection would show up soon after the injury to your leg, especially after damage to the skin which is a good protective barrier. However that kind of injury could have left some scar tissue which continues to cause discomfort, as the scar tissue lacks the elasticity of normal healthy tissue. Let your doctor check matters out, to make sure circulation and nerve function is intact. This will lead to specific treatment ideas as needed.

HELPFUL WEBSITES:

http://www.familydoctor.org/flowcharts/541.html

http://www.apma.org/topics/health.htm

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