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Hi, l am suffering from CSF rhunerriea last one month an d doctor suggested me to repair surgery. I want to know is it possible to heal this without surgery and what is the complications of this surgery and what is the success rate. Pls guide me.

By Anonymous August 25, 2017 - 12:31pm
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HERWriter Guide

Hello Anon

Thank you for writing.

The brain and spinal cord is surrounded by a special fluid called the cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF. The CSF has several different functions. One function is buoyancy, which reduces the net weight of the brain: the weight drops from 1,400 gm without cerebrospinal fluid to about 50 gm with this fluid, according to the University of Washington.

The CSF is a buffer for the brain, protecting it when there is an impact to the head. This fluid also removes harmful products and transports hormones.

In some cases, damage to the spine or the brain can result in leakage of the cerebrospinal fluid. When this occurs, the pressure around the central nervous system drops.

Common sites of a cerebrospinal fluid leak are in the thoracic spine and cervicothoracic junction of the spinal cord. Several conditions can result in a cerebrospinal fluid leak.

For example, a patient may develop a CSF leak after sustaining a head injury. Leakage of the cerebrospinal fluid may occur after certain medical procedures.

A leak may occur after a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, which is a procedure in which a sample of the cerebrospinal fluid is drawn. In this case, the leakage occurs where the puncture was done.

Some patients may develop a CSF leak after having surgery on the brain, spinal cord or head. Other causes of a cerebrospinal fluid leak include cervical bone spurs, epidural anesthesia and epidural steroid injections.

A CSF leak can result in several different symptoms. Patients may have a headache, which MedlinePlus described as worsening when patients sit up, and improves when patients lie down. This headache may occur along with stiffness in the neck, sensitivity to light and nausea.

Some patients may have tinnitus, or ringing in their ears. Sensation changes may occur such as numbness in the face and tingling in the arms.

Vision changes are possible symptoms of a CSF leak, include blurry vision and horizontal diplopia, or double vision. Hearing changes may occur. While rare, draining of CSF may occur from the nose or ear.

The treatment of a CSF leak depends on the cause of the leak. For example, MedlinePlus noted that in some cases, the condition goes away without needing intervention. Patients should get plenty of bed rest and drink fluids throughout the day.

Beverages that contain caffeine may help to slow or stop the CSF leak, and may also reduce the pain from headaches, according to MedlinePlus. Patients experiencing headache pain may use pain relievers.

In some cases, patients may require further intervention. If a patient has a headache that lasts longer than one week after a lumbar puncture, she may undergo a procedure called a blood patch. With a blood patch, a blood clot is used to seal the CSF leak, thus reducing the symptoms.

Side effects are possible with a blood patch, including increased CSF pressure. If the blood patch fails, patients may undergo surgical repair, noted Columbia Neurosurgery. In cases of a cerebrospinal fluid leak in which a patient has chills, fever and a change in her mental status, the patient will be treated with antibiotics.

Like the treatment, the prognosis for a cerebrospinal fluid leak depends on its cause.

Anon, for most patients, the leak heals itself and patients do not experience long-term symptoms. But you will need to discuss complications with your doctor and also ask about success rates. This is something an expert need to discuss with you.
Good luck with your decision.

August 25, 2017 - 6:49pm
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