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Post L4-5, L5-S1 fusion 11 cm seroma

I had L4-5, L5-S1 MAS posterior lumbar spinal fusion with cortical screws and rod placement on 4/16/16.  At post op week 4 I was doing great and had started coming off all my pain meds.  I was having some neuropathy as the nerves that had been compressed for 3 years were "waking" up so I was put on neurontin but other than that I was off of pain meds completely and feeling great for 5 whole days.  Then on 5/20 I leaned over to pick up my purse and i felt horrible burning pain across my back and down my legs.  Completely muscular feeling.  I called my surgeon who told me to rest and keep my appointment for the following week.  And he put me back on pain meds, arg.  I went to the appointment on 5/27 and he ordered a CT scan.  He told me to hold PT and that he would call me with the results as soon as possible (which turned out to be three days later).  I got a copy of the CT scan as well because I happen to work at the hospital where it was done.

I have a greater than 11 cm seroma that goes beyond the bounds of the scan extending from L1 to S1.  Hardware all looked good.  My surgeon's nurse finally calls me on Friday and tells me that he told her to tell me that everything was normal on the CT scan and that I could just follow up with him in one month!  I asked her why he was not concerned with the 11 cm seroma up my spine that is causing me horrific pain that I have never had pre surgery.  She got really huffy with me and was surprised that I had seen a copy of the scan and was upset that I had read it.  She said she only knew that he had told her that everything was fine.

My question is that everything I have read on here today seems to suggest that since the size of my seroma is so big, and located all the way up my spine and causing all this pain by compressing everything in my back, everyone is saying I should get it aspirated and drained.  One site I read even said something about the risk of it becoming calcified if it is not drained?  

Should I call my surgeon back and demand that he relieve the pressure by draining it or seek a second opinion?  I honestly dont think I can take this level of pain.  It is worse that what I was living with before surgery.  Any help would be appreciated.  
1 Responses
7721494 tn?1431631564
No -- seromas sometimes follow surgery and depending on their location, can be tricky business.

You need a consult.

A bit of friendly advice -- don't argue with nurses over the phone. Better to assert yourself gently, playing broken record if necessary, and insist on seeing the doc tomorrow, ASAP. This thing worries me and it hurts, damn it!

The exam room -- that's where medical battles are won or lost -- behind closed doors. You can rarely win talking with a nurse, but you can lose big time. They are the gatekeeper to the physician.

Ask for an appointment to go over your diagnostic films, and to get some treatment for pain.

I'm sure this is a problem they'd rather not deal with, but deal with it they must, and you should not have to wait a month in pain when steps can be taken to reduce your pain while the seroma has a chance to reabsorb and heal.

Best wishes.
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