I've been meaning to share my story in hopes it may help someone out there with new information.
I had a two level lumbar fusion on July 9th. post-op pain was downright brutal.
two weeks later I developed a "seroma"-- swelling where fluid accumulates... right under the entire length of the 5 inch incision. I got it checked out. doc said to apply heat. if it didn't go down, they'd drain it in a couple days. had it drained. they tested the fluid. by now I had a fever of over 102 three nights in a row. pain got worse. the tests came back with crazy numbers... and the MRSA bug- HA (hospital acquired--- not the CA (community acquired which is the one where you get boils on your skin). I had surgery immediately the next morning after the results came back. they'd have done it the same day but I'd already eaten lunch.
they found the MRSA-HA bacteria not only in the seroma, but also deep by the rods and the screws. thank God it didn't spread.
the second surgery (August 3rd) also required a 5 day hospital stay. I was given a "pick-line" (sp?) which is an iv/catheter type thing that goes from my elbow 43 centimeters til it gets to the aorta... right before the heart. the heart distributes the vancomyacin antibiotics throughout my body. it's apparently too hard for the veins to handle. that's why they install the iv with the two plastic lines leading to the aorta. I have two treatments a day. each is 1.5 hours long. thankfully it doesn't hurt.
after that second surgery, my incision had a really hard time healing. this past monday I went to see my neurosurgeon again. he told me he felt he needed to open it back up and clean it out and re-sew it. so, for the 3rd time in 7 weeks, Tuesday I had surgery again. thankfully it was just one night. I had it cleaned out. I have had way more nerve pain post-op in my back than ever, but now they've been messed with 3 times and so that's expected.
I fully expect this will be it and I am finally on the road to lasting recovery.
oh... the treatments will continue through my IV til September 12th. I am beyond grateful it didn't kill me, as it does kill people every year.
through it all, my husband has been amazing and I haven't lost my mind!
so... if you have any signs of a seroma after surgery, (it's very rare but it does happen obviously!) please have it checked out ASAP and have it tested for any bacteria.