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seroma issues

The end of March I had a fusion of L4 - L5, and rod placed L5 - S1. It took 8 weeks before all of the scabs were gone. So for my first 2 sessions in PT I had to do land then went over to water for 4 sessions. The second land session the PT pushed me too hard. 3 hours later, I had severe sciatic pain shooting down my left leg (which is the one I always had issues with) and cramping in my left foot causing my foot to literally curl.

Told my water PT who said the land PT pushed me too hard. When I went back for land she finally backed down on one of the exercises after I told her that she was pushing me too hard.

Through out my 14 sessions, my complaints were that my back was very itchy (had been since week 4 after surgery) and painful to touch the area on my left backside over the hip. If anything touched where the incision was would cause my back to itch.

3 months post op, I knew something was up. Had my husband look at my back and he saw that the one of the sites that took the longest for the scab to leave had reopened and was draining a clear fluid. When I went to PT the next day I had my PT guy look at it. He said it was open and draining. He sent me home, no PT because he did not want to aggravate it. And told me to call my surgeon. I did and was seen by the surgeon 2 hours later.

He said I had seroma. Told me to keep the area dry and clean dressing on it every day. Put me on an antibiotic. Said I was not to get it wet until it was completely healed.

I have been back twice since and now both areas that had the issue with the scabs are open. Still draining. He wants to see me in a month. Antibiotics for another month, that makes a total of 6 weeks on antibiotics. While the itching is slowly decreasing, any pressure to the site is very tender. And the area on the left back side of my hip is painful.

My question is has anyone had this happen? How long did it take for it to stop draining and heal? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. He said it could take months. But that can't be right.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I am looking forward to reading what others have to say. Nice to find a site where people can related to what your saying without feeling like they are rolling their eyes at you or thinking that you some whack job.
  • A seroma is a collection of fluid, so it can take a little time to reabsorb into the body. The antibiotics are for infection prevention. A cautionary measure.
    It can happen sometimes, unfortunately, and the most important things are keeping it clean, dry, covered and taking those antibiotics.
    I'm sorry it happened. As for your hip pain, that is pretty common too, since they take the graft from the hip......and it can be quite sore and tender for some time.
  • Thank you Sandi,

    I don't know if the doctor used a part of my hip. But that might explain why its so sore. My husband saw me after surgery and said from mid back to my butt was completely black. I never saw it.

    I am now nearly 3.5 weeks of draining. Still on antibiotics (3.5 weeks worth and counting) and keeping the sites covered and dry all the time.

    The itching seems to be a little less intense, but its still there and at times I get a burning sensation. I just hope that the draining stops soon. And wonder if its still draining next month when I see the surgeon again what he will suggest. At some point in time I would think something would have to be done to get this matter straighten out.
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