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Swelling and Blistering on Spinal Fusion Scar 5+ years later

Hi. I was born with congenital scoliosis and after years of back braces had two spinal fusions, the last of which was six years ago. I had the majority of my spine fused from about T2 to the lower lumbar area. Other than ongoing chronic pain, I have never had any complications until recently.

Last month two red, blistered areas appeared on the top and bottom of the scar from my infusion. They became swollen and fluid filled until popping and remaining open sores. Then the would swell up again. They were unresponsive to antibiotics so I was sent to urgent care where they admitted me. They believe an infection in my instrumentation is causing the swelling and inflammation and that I will have to get all my hardware removed. However, the suregeon said there would be no way of knowing if this was actually the case until they operated. I have no other symptoms of infection and my blood work, catscan, and MRI were completely normal and showed no infection of abscess. 

Has anyone experienced anything like this before? Did it ever get resolved? If it did, how so? None of the doctors seem to know why it’s happening 



  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 1,493

    hi cfshea, 

    i want to say hi and welcome!  i haven't experienced anything like that, but i hope that they can get to the bottom of what is causing it soon! 

    do you know if they took a culture of the fluid?  infections along the metal can be insidious, and not act like typical infections with abscesses and stuff.  it's good that it's draining but that also set up the situation for further infections taking hold....hopefully they can figure it out soon and get you back to good!  sorry i'm not more help.....please let us know how you are doing as you move forward!

    Veritas-Health Moderator
    Dec '16 T10-S2 fusion with pelvic fixation. Laminectomies L2, L3, L4, L5, facet removal, cages L4-5, L5-S1, severe scoliosis, arthritis and stenosis repair. 

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