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Lower & Upper back pain /Lower back seroma

JudytJJudyt Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Chronic Pain
I have had 4 back surgeries within the past 5 years. First I had an artifical disc put in my lower back (L5-S1). Then a year later had problems with it so they had to go in and remove the plastic piece in the middle that was slipping and causing me pain. So the doctor fused my back and with in a year it caused herniated disc up my spine and I had to have surgery on my T6-7 disc it was so bad that if I would of fallen it would of paralized me. With that surgery it left me with a burning pain on the right side of my back. Then I developed an hemangioma at the C5 which is big enough that I have to get it checked every year. I was told if I lose weight that my back would feel better. Well I could not do it on my own so I had gastric bypass and lost 130 pounds. I now weight 120 pounds but had increased pain in my back. I could feel the metal fusion and it was painful. So I had surgery and had it removed in Feb 2010. Then on March 20 my back was still swollen and I thought it was from the surgery but then I was driving on a trip and felt my clothes wet and within one hour of leaving my house my clothes were soaked with blood and fluid which leaked out of the bottom of the scare. I went to the ER where they sent me to the ER hospital where my back surgery was done so the doctor on call could take care of me. Five days later they did surgery and reopened me to find out I had staph infection so bad that it was attacking my muscle. The doctor told us it was like a soupy hamberger look and he scraped the muscle to the healthy part and flushed me out with antibiotics and put me on IV antibiotics for about 4 days and sent me home on them for 2 weeks. Then upon the end of the 2 weeks I got my stiches out and there was no swelling at all. Now its been a month and I have swelling again so I contacted my doctor who will not be back tell tuesday so his PA took care of me and did a CT scan and blood work. Which showed I do have swelling and my blook work is normal which it was when I had the staph infection. So I am worried is this going to happen again. So the PA doc drained some of the fluid to do a culture on it so I will find out Monday what it is, but the PA thinks it is just a seroma. Now it is filling up with fluids still and I wear a back brace and hope it will help. I don't know what is going to happen but it is scarey when you get fluids in your back and spinal area. My pain has increased and I am on pain medication every 4 hours. My legs both hurt the left worse than the right. What can I do.


  • Wow, you've been through quite the ordeal -- bless your heart! I can't offer much advice but my interest peaked when you mentioned the PA telling you that you probably had a seroma.

    I had foot surgery in October of 08 for an inflamed nerve. It healed just fine. (my sciatica issues started right after that surgery) In June of 09, I noticed a swelling at the incision site of my foot surgery. It has been 11 months of podiatrist, primary care physician, dermatologist and infectious disease doctors and I've been on so many different antibiotics, anti-fungals and have had numerous cultures AND my foot still leaks like "Old Faithful" -- Also at some point my third and fourth toes on my left foot sort of separated like they are giving the "peace" sign (LOL!).

    I have clear to yellowish discharges and only one time has my foot actually bled. The infectious disease doctor who I saw over the Xmas holidays told me if the Cipro he gave me didn't work in two weeks that I should see a surgeon and have the foot cleaned out.

    Here's my dilemma -- if none of the cultures grew any atypical fungal infections and none of the antibiotics worked -- what will happen after they do surgery? If they can't figure out what processes are causing the issue, what does cleaning out mean?

    I know my situation is no where near as dire as yours but you're the first person who has brought up the subject of seroma. By the way, they usually happen right after a surgery (like yours did) not six months are so after you're healed.

    I was told your body tries to fill the area where something was removed -- the soft tissue and lymphatic system goes haywire. They usually resolves themselves although it may take a few months. Mine is a very odd case.

    Best wishes to you that you heal quickly and your pain levels drop. I haven't had any back surgeries so I can't speak to your issues but there are plenty of people here who have.

    Take care,

    Judy (too!)
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am so glad you stopped by. i am sorry to hear you have had so many surgeries and are still not feeling well. you must be very disappointed!! i cannot help you with your problem, that is best left to your doctor, but i do have pain and am sorry you have that!! please drop by anytime and i hope you are feeling better soon! Jenny :)
  • Just an update on my condition. It's now May 11, 2010 and my last surgery was March 26th, 2010. I am still in pain and still wearing my brace. Now when I travel for one hour my legs swell. So I am concern with the swelling in my back is causing pressure somewhere to cause swelling in my legs. So today my doctor is in his office and I am going to travel one hour and a half to drop in on him today and get some answers hopefully. I hope he will see me cause I have know idea how long I have to wait for this to go away. I will keep you posted. Thanks for you comments it really helps me.
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