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Spine fluid leak 10 days after microdiscectomy

KalapraveenKKalapraveen Posts: 2
edited 11/12/2015 - 4:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All,

I had a L5-S1 microdiscectomy about 3 weeks ago after suffering for 8 months with severe low back, buttock and left leg pain. I felt excellent for the first 10 days post op with lots of walking (upto 4-5kms) each day. Then all of a sudden I started experiencing horrible headaches that did not feel like any other headaches I ever had in my life.

When I consulted my surgeon he found out that my incision did not heal too well and tried to take a swab test. The moment he put a bud into my incision and moved the top layer of skin aside, the CSF poured out like a fountain which scared me to death. After that my surgeon gave me a drug called acetazolamide for 7 days. Then he restitched my incision and asked me to take ample rest and tried to assure me that it's all gonna be all right soon.

Now, after a week of bed rest, my headache is minimum as I have been literally stuck to bed almost all of my day..with my incision still sometimes leaking mildly.. My question hear is to know if anyone here ever had such an experience before and can a torn dura heal all by itself without any repair surgery. I can't insist my surgeon to perform a repair surgery as I am not an expert or a doctor myself but I am not sure whether my doctor himself is too sure about what to do.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated... The prospect of long term headaches is really frightening tme o the point that now I feel my sciatica was much better than all this mess.

Thank you ever so much!!

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  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Kalapraveen, the same thing happened to me but in my case the surgeon informed me that he repaired a dura leak during the surgery and repaired it. Sadly it failed to hold but he did inform me what to do if I get the low pressure headaches, go to the emergency room which I did, and a good thing I went because my white blood cell count was very high indicating possible infection, I was admitted and treated with IV antibiotics and pain medications for a few days and released.
    My headaches went on for 5 weeks but they did stop, 1 year post-op and there is still a leak found on a recent CT/Myelogram and MRI with contrast and I see a new neurosurgeon in 2 weeks. I was told by another consulting surgeon that it could go away in another year but the pseudomeningocele is still putting pressure on the spinal column which is why he referred me to a neurosurgeon.

    Infection is what has to be checked for as well as the CSF leak.
  • Dear Lee,

    Thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it. As of now 2 weeks after the massive CSF leak, I don't have any symptoms of any infection and my incision also started healing. However my headaches and nausea are still a problem. I have a review with my neuro surgeon in 3 days time and raise the question of possible pseudomeningocele as I am having verybad tailbone and buttock pain. I will keep writing about my progress so that my experience might help someone else as your's did to me.

    Thank you
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