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spinal headache
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spinal headache

I recently had my fourth epidural for the treatment of spondylolisthesis. The doctor had a very difficult time getting the needle in. In the process, she must have nicked the dura of the spinal chord. She attributed it to the fact that I also have spinal bifida occulta.  Over the next two weeks I developed a stiff neck, then vertigo with head movement, then spinal headache.  My orthpedic surgeon (Who did his fellowship at Cleveland Clinic)recommended two days of bed rest with lots of caffeine. Didn't work.  My pain doctor did a blood patch and I have since been in bed for three days with lots of fluid.  Still got headaches.  I have scheduled bone fusion in three weeks.  Will this blood patch be absorbed by then?  Will the spinal bifida make my surgery more dangerous?  Can my doctor repair the leak during surgery?
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Sorry to hear about your symptoms. Blood patches are temporary measures that theoretically serve as a bridge to give your dura time to heal. By the time it "wears off", your headaches should hopefully resolve and there would be no need for surgical repair. If it doesn't close up on its own, the surgeon can certainly use a mesh covering to patch up the tear. The spina bifida itself should not pose a major risk if it is small. However, the problem would be if there were abnormal adhesions of the spinal cord at the site of the spina bifida. Manipulation during the surgery could cause neuromuscular complications if they were torn/stretched. This is something you'll need to discuss with the surgeon. Best of luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can't give you the answer to your question, but I had a spinal tap done a few years ago and it was the experience from....well you know. I had to have a blood patch and the blood patch took right away. Mine was done by a anastiologist (sp). Have you called the surgeon that is going to do your fusion? Maybe they will have a suggestion or refer you to someone who can fix it. I hope you get to feeling better soon.
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I just came home from the hospital today.  My post-blood patch headache escalated, plus stiff neck and vertigo. After brain and cervical MRIs, I was diagnosed with Chemical meningitis, caused by contamination of the meninges with most likely the dye used during the blood patch procedure.  In this case, the cure was much worse than the disease.
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When I had my blood patch they removed blood from my arm and then put it over the holes (yes more than 1 puncture) and it worked right away. Sorry your having so much trouble. I hope you get to feeling better soon.
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A little over a year ago I had weakness on one side and numbness on the other.  I had a spinal tap done to test for MS.  This was the biggest mistake of my life.  A post spinal tap headache followed which lasted for about a week.  When this went away my ears began to pop.  I thought the tinnitus was due to the remission of the headache and would go away in time.  It did not.  About two weeks later I began to experince dizziness quite often.  I knew that these two problems were due to the spinal tap, but the medical field ignored this possibility.  They believed the timing of the tinnitus and the dizziness was "coincidental" and attributed both of these to MS, even though I had neither problem before the spinal tap.  E-mail me at ***@**** if you are having similar problems due to a spinal tap (lumbar puncture), or epidural.
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Avatar_n_tn
In 1998 I had a buldged disc located at the L5. I worked for the state hospital working with the disable people. The state sent me to their Dr. 3 hours away. The Dr. Ordered me to go through work hardening Program. I had no Problem with that. But during the 6 week course I develpoed really bad headaches, while I was at the center. I kept telling the Dr. about these headaches and she said it was all in my head. Well Of course it was. Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... Well she got mad at me cause I decided to go to another Dr. and try him. Which was only 45 mintues from me. He told me she was just working for the state of South Dakota and not for me. She wasn't trying to get me better, she was just collecting the money. After all said and done the state never did pay for the medcial bills. I still owe $25,000.00 and for what? She told the state I could go back to work full duty. Well I did quit that job. Then cause I know I wasn't ready myself to go back yet with the back pain.She released me.

Now Dec.2001 I took a new job working for a local Nursing home. Their is no lifting due to the hoyer lifts and Sarah lifts they have. But 2 weeks ago I injuryed my back again at the L3, L4, L5.
I have the headaches again, instead of most of the pain being on my left side it is on   my right side. Legs go numb, and so does arm and hands. The local dr. says it is a disc diease. Will I ever be able to get over this or is it going to reacurr all the time? And what does it take to get disablity? I am only 42 years old, but I have worked like a dog all my life. Please answer me soon. Thank you sincerely Serenity40_22_20
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you sought legal advice (regarding your termination and need for disability)?  I'm sure it's hard to deal with all that while you're in so much pain, but there must be an advocate out there for you somewhere.  Wish I could help more.  Don't give up!
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Avatar_n_tn
Four months ago I had an epidural during labor.  While they were trying to get it placed they got a wet tap.  the doc that caused it spent about 30 minutes trying to get it placed.  After he got the wet tap he called another doc in and he had it placed in less than 5 min.  I had two blood patches that did not work.  Had a third and spent 3 days in bed to make sure it would hold.  I have still had episodes where I get what seems like mild spinal headaches especially when I am exerting myself.  

My Question, is it possible that I could still have a spinal fluid leak?
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