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  • Carolina Regional Orthopaedics

Complications of Spider Bites

The majority of spiders and spider bites are not dangerous, however, spider species like black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders are dangerous and can cause some serious health complications when bitten by them.

Complications of Spider Bites | Carolina Regional Orthopaedics

Some of the common symptoms of a spider bite are redness, pain, and swelling, but others can cause further complications.


The complications of spider bites

Even a non-toxic spider bite can cause skin infection with abscess or pus formation when left untreated, but when bitten by a venomous spider, you may notice the following complications:


Brown Recluse Spider

When bitten by a brown recluse and left untreated, the bite wound worsens and kills the surrounding tissues and can cause fever, chills, and headaches.

On rare occasions, they can cause:

  1. Coma and seizures

  2. Jaundice

  3. Blood in urine

  4. Kidney failure


Black Widow Spider

Bites of the black widow spider are usually associated with mild redness, sweating, urticaria, and cyanosis and may also occur at the bite site.

The venom interferes with chemicals at nerve endings which may cause:

  1. Agonizing abdominal pain and muscle spasms

  2. Headache

  3. Paresthesias

  4. Nausea and vomiting

  5. Hypertension

  6. Paralysis (sometimes)


Brazilian Wandering Spider

The skin around the bite becomes swollen, red, and hot. In severe cases, they cause dead tissues around the spot, and sometimes it is fatal.


Wolf Spider

A wolf spider’s bite may tear the skin and cause pain, redness, and swelling. As a result of the bite, you may also have swollen lymph nodes. Healing can take up to 10 days and lead to tissue damage.


Hobo Spider

The most common complication of a hobo spider’s bite is a severe headache that develops within minutes to hours and can last up to 1 week. Other complications include:

  1. Nausea and fatigue

  2. Memory impairment

  3. Aplastic anemia

  4. Death (rarely)


Takeaway

When it comes to spider bites, sometimes you will not even know you’ve had one. You may think you were just bitten by some insect, however, if you are experiencing some swelling, redness, and extreme pain after being bitten and the symptoms are only getting worse, then getting immediate medical attention is recommended.


If it was a spider bite, antivenom is available for some spider species such as black widow spider (antivenin), which could be used to treat.


Carolina Regional Orthopaedics

Carolina Regional Orthopaedics provides the most effective, modern, and innovative techniques in both Orthopedic Surgery and Pain Management using proven methodologies in both the surgical and non-surgical treatment of all conditions affecting the spine, upper extremities, and lower extremities. We specialize in hand and wrist surgery, joint replacements, sports medicine, trauma care, pediatric orthopedics, pain management, wound care, regenerative medicine, physical therapy, imaging services, and EMG testing.

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