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Post Surgery Complications - Dr. Input from MRI Appreciated
Anon_176914 posted:

I had a laminectomy/microdiskectomy about 4 weeks ago. I had an MRI done recently because I've had chronic headaches and dizziness since the surgery. there was a dura tear during surgery, which the repair of the tear is in tact and not leaking, however my MRI says:

"Moderate/severe decreased disc height is identified and a moderate retrolisthesis. Reduced T2 nuclear signal intensity is detected. A left laminectomy has been performed & there is a moderate sized collection of fluid located in the fascia dorsal to the laminotomy site. The fluid extends dorsally along the left lateral margin of the left neural foraminal stenosis."

Any help in understanding this would be greatly appreciated.
bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group - til the doctors have time to respond here are some sites that will help you understand the terminology -


these sites are very good and should help you understand the MRI report -

take care - Joy
Anon_176914 replied to bj1208's response:
Thanks. Those sites are helpful. However, they do not mention anything about fluid collection or edemas.
bj1208 replied to Anon_176914's response:
We have questions for the PHYSICIANS, please~~ I have given the member sites to help with some terminology -but there is no mention of fluid problems -

Please help member with this as soon as you can!! Thanks much!!

Rafael Levin, MD, MSc responded:
Your symptoms of chronic headaches and dizziness in the context of a known spinal fluid leak during your surgery, and in the context of your MRI demonstrating a fluid collection dorsal to the laminectomy site raises the suspicion of a possible ongoing slow spinal fluid leak responsible for your symptoms. Sometimes it is difficult to diagnose an active leak with absolute certainty, however, if your symptoms do not improve, consideration can be given to a blood patch, or even, as a last resort, re-exploration and repair of the tear. Your surgeon would be in the best position to direct your care as he knows the exact extent of your dural tear and its repair during the surgery. Your long term prognosis from a post operative leak is overall good, so do not get discouraged.
Anon_176914 replied to Rafael Levin, MD, MSc's response:
Thanks. The surgeon is confident from that lumbar MRI quoted above that there is no leak in the lumbar area or from the tear sustained during surgery and they referred me to a neurologist, who did a brain MRI yesterday. The neuro thinks it's either a leak or possibly air in the brain.

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