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painful seroma after laminectomy L4-L5 and fusion L5-S1

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everybody I am new to this site. I was wondering if anybody had experienced a seroma at a laminectomy site and what treatment it required? I had a laminectomy L4-L5 and a L5-S1 laminectomy with fusion on 1/28/09. At that time all my pain was on the right side - after surgery all preop pain was gone - had the surgical pain to deal with, but with meds that was tolerable. About 5-6 weeks post op I developed left sided sciatic pain and pain in the left hip. Had a ct which showed a seroma within the laminectomy defect a postsurgical seroma. My surgeon blew me off and refused to give me any other pain meds(I hadn't had but 2 rx since surgery and didn't return until I ran out od meds and realized how bad it hurt without pain meds). My surgeon did'nt know I had gotten a copy of my CT report prior to my visit. He gave a very complex explation of what a seroma was and I was foolish enough to go without looking up the definition of a seroma. I feel like he blew me off, told me it would all be resolved in 4 weeks. I am so frustrated and down. I have had this hugh surgery and all that has happened is my pain has changed sites. I guess I need to get a second opion???????
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1

Comments

  • Almost the same thing is happening to me. See below to see what surgeries I had, and I am also getting ready for a fusion since the disc ruptured again! It's almost 4 months after my last surgery and I have had this massive swelling (seroma) at/around the incision site which is like a pain button. If anything touches it with any pressure it's horrible pain. My Surgeon told me it was normal since I had the 2 surgeries so close together and it would be absorbed by my body. How long that is gonna take is the question I can't get answered. I found out more about the seroma online and everything says if the seroma is causing pain that it should be drained. And if it becomes infected it would be called an abscess. I feel you on the frustration, we get these surgeries to help the pain, and here we are in pain like we never had a surgery in the first place. I actually hurt worse more than ever now and hopefully I'll get my fusion done asap because this is no way to live. Keep me informed!
  • Wow...I had exactly the same surgery...exactly the same post-op symptoms and the exact BS treatment from my doc....now the only trouble is that I got another doc to drain it and the pain is at its worst :( They are checking for infection etc...but what do I do, just hope it goes away???
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  • i hope that you will find answers to questions and meet new friends here .i have has a similar operation to you but not the same problems .but i am too familiar with the pain part ,its been 18 months and i am still in pain .go see another doctor and make sure that he.she listens to you its 2009 and and no one should be denied pain killers if they are in genuine pain
    STRAKER
  • I too had a fusion at L5S1 and developed a seroma the size of a gumball impinging my nerve in the exact same spot as the ruptured disk I had removed. Onlr the pain and numbness are worse than ever. Dr EDITED says I shopuldnt be having any pain and it should be reasorbed by my body.. He wont give a timetable but has released me to go back to work. Of course I got hurt at work...it just seems to me that there is a problem with all of the seroma stuff Im reading about. my dr wont remove it but I have spoke to 3 neurosurgeons who will. they also say draining could produce a hardening of the sak holding the fluid which could make things worse and that the sak is attached to the nerve itself. so I guess the doc get 250k and Im left crippled for life.


    Post edited to remove name of medical professional and or facility. by The Spine-Health Moderator Team
  • I finally had an mri after my almost 2 year ago surgery. I have had pain since the surgery & was told by the neurosurgeon that it's nerve pain & that it would take 10 years for the nerves to heal since that's how long I waited to have the surgery. Last week, I finally went to a neurologist who ordered the mri (the pain is overwhelming, both legs & feet are involved and an awful feeling of pressure & pain inside of my spine, at times there is palpable swelling). My dr called me & said there is a seroma at the surgical site. There were more medical terms & he wants to see me to explain it all. Until then, can anyone help me understand this? I would appreciate any information that you're comfortable to share. Thank you
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  • Hi there,
    I don't know if you'll get this since your post was in 09, but did you ever get the seroma taken care of? I'm dealing with that right now.
  • darrollrddarrollr Posts: 5
    edited 07/13/2015 - 6:55 AM
    i have the same surgery and problems right now and i am 16 weeks post surgery. my neurosurgeon says the seroma is in my spine pressing on the spinal cord/sciatic nerve. however, he doesn't seem to think it is the cause of the horrendous pain in my right hip and legs. he wants me to see a pain management dr to get an injection, which will take 3 weeks to get, and then wait three months to see how i'm doing and re access the situation. i am furious about the situation as i have not been able to work or function normally for 10 months now! i feel like he is blowing me off. i am trying to get a second opinion. i know this is an old thread but can anyone tell me their results?


    moderator's message...please click on link for helpful information
    welcome to spine-health
  • Hi. I'm sorry I'll talk more later but can I just ask, why 3 weeks to get a shot & 3 MONTHS to see how it works? I could get a shot MUCH faster than that & you can tell how much they've helped at most 2 weeks in my experience! You're in PAIN! I completely understand why you're so angry.
    A pain management doctor can probably do a lot more to help. I don't know what therapy you're doing or meds you're taking at the moment but that's a different conversation. Why is this next step taking so long? If he doesn't think the seroma is causing your pain why isn't he working out what is causing it & getting you appropriate treatment?

    Note - Have you had your SI joint checked out?
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • darrollrddarrollr Posts: 5
    edited 08/25/2015 - 11:34 PM
    EnglishGirl said:
    Hi. I'm sorry I'll talk more later but can I just ask, why 3 weeks to get a shot & 3 MONTHS to see how it works? I could get a shot MUCH faster than that & you can tell how much they've helped at most 2 weeks in my experience! You're in PAIN! I completely understand why you're so angry.
    A pain management doctor can probably do a lot more to help. I don't know what therapy you're doing or meds you're taking at the moment but that's a different conversation. Why is this next step taking so long? If he doesn't think the seroma is causing your pain why isn't he working out what is causing it & getting you appropriate treatment?

    Note - Have you had your SI joint checked out?

    I don't know why the long waits. They did decide to send me for a Discogram. He said that should tell us where the seroma fluid has come from or if there is a problem with my L5 disc that he couldn't see in the CT or MRI. I asked him how there could be something wrong with the L5 disc, because he was supposed to have removed it, but he just now informed me that he was not able to remove it without going through my abdomen. I was [edit] to hear this because I told him before surgery that a second opinion said it could only be done from the front and rear combined. I gave him permission to do it both ways and he said, "it's not gonna be a problem I do it like this all the time.". So now he tells me that if there's a problem with the disc that he'll have to go through the front to get to it! Why did he not just do it like I asked in the first place? Argh!!!
    So after the Discogram on Aug 4th, I'll get to schedule a pain management Dr for an injection. But my surgeon still don't want to see me for another 8 weeks.
    I've already done physical therapy for 8 weeks and my PT says it's not helping my pain at all and that I should continue my exercises at home but don't need to come back to him till my surgeon gives new orders. My flexibility is great but the exercises irritate my nerve pain even worse. I still take muscle relaxers daily but only take Tylenol or ibuprofen for pain because I hate the hard pain meds.
    As for the SI joint, no. My PT and I both think it could be my SI joint so I asked him if I should get it x-rayed or scanned but he said no. He thinks the problem is at the fusion site.
  • Any ideas?
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