What happens if your epidural leaks spinal fluid?
This fluid can cause headaches and other symptoms. CSF leaks can happen after an epidural or a lumbar puncture (spinal tap), with the fluid draining into the subcutaneous tissue and, in turn, not visible to the patient. CSF leaks can also occur spontaneously for unknown reasons, or because of trauma to the spine.
Can you leak spinal fluid after an epidural?
When an epidural catheter is placed for anesthesia, normally the dura is not punctured, however, a puncture or a tear of the dura may occur inadvertently. This is one type of iatrogenic spinal CSF leak, one that occurs as the result of a medical procedure.
What can go wrong with a spinal epidural?
The needle used to deliver the epidural can hit a nerve, leading to temporary or permanent loss of feeling in your lower body. Bleeding around the area of the spinal cord and using the wrong medication in the epidural can also cause nerve damage. This side effect is extremely rare.
How long does it take for a spinal fluid leak to heal?
The repair site can take four to six weeks to heal completely. During that time, the patient’s activity will be restricted to avoid straining, heavy lifting (no greater than 10 pounds), and nose blowing.
Can you have a spinal leak for years?
Spinal fluid leaks also can lead to serious complications, including seizures. Patients may have a CSF leak for years or decades before it is diagnosed.
How do you fix a spinal fluid leak?
For spinal CSF leaks that do not respond to bed rest and other conservative treatments, an epidural blood patch or epidural patching with fibrin glue are treatment options. An epidural blood patch involves injecting the patient’s own blood into the spinal canal.
What happens when you leak spinal fluid?
The tear or hole allows the CSF to leak out. The loss of CSF causes the previously cushioned brain to sag inside the skull, which results in a headache. Loss of fluid also causes a lowering of pressure within the skull, a condition called intracranial hypotension.
What happens if a spinal headache is untreated?
Untreated spinal headaches can cause life-threatening complications including subdural hematoma (bleeding in the skull that puts increased pressure on the brain) and seizures. Other rare complications include infection and bleeding in the back.
What is the most common complication of epidural?
The most common complications occurring with epidural analgesia are maternal hypotension and postdural puncture headache. Retrospective studies have demonstrated an association between epidural analgesia and increases in duration of labor, instrumental vaginal delivery and cesarean section for labor.
What does nerve damage from an epidural feel like?
The needle or epidural tube can damage nerves, but this is uncommon. Nerve damage can cause loss of feeling or movement in parts of your lower body. The most common symptom is a small, numb area with normal movement and strength. This usually gets better after a few days or weeks, but can sometimes take months.
What are the dangers of an epidural?
Risks and side effects of an epidural
- low blood pressure, which can make you feel lightheaded or nauseous.
- temporary loss of bladder control.
- itchy skin.
- feeling sick.
- nerve damage.
Why Is caffeine good for CSF leak?
The caffeine in coffee is thought to increase CSF production, thereby helping to reduce headache severity in those with spinal CSF leaks.
Should I go to hospital for CSF leak?
If a CSF leak is suspected, you should see a physician as soon as possible. If symptoms of meningitis (high fever, light sensitivity, neck stiffness) are suspected, you should go to the emergency room.
How serious is a dural tear?
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage following dural tears can pose potentially serious problems such as CSF fistula formation, pseudomeningocele, meningitis, arachnoiditis and epidural abscess[1,3,10,12,15].