I had my second decompression surgery about 6 weeks ago. About 4 weeks ago I had a small part of my incision open up. It was not very deep, but definitely opened up. I was not having a leak so they left the wound open and we treated it at home with dressings and silvedene. A week later, in the middle of the night, I woke up and there was fluid all over the back of my head. I went to the ER and was initially told by the first neuro that it looked like a CSF leak. After being evaluated by the head neurosurgeon, he assured me that he was 99% sure that it was not CSF, but instead it was serous fluid caused by a neg staph coag infection. They left the very sizable wound open and I am infusing vancomycin every 8 hours. My fiancé is packing the wound with silvedene and packing gauze and lots of gauze and head wrapping to secure it. There is so much of what they call “serous fluid” draining from the wound and my fiancé can see a small hole in the top of the wound that the fluid comes from. I am completely asymptomatic. Has anyone had a similar issue and know how much drainage I should expect?

Stf3, I am so sorry you are dealing with this. If this was my head, I would need that extra 1% assurance that the fluid is not CSF- in fact I would assume it is CSF until absolutely ruled out. You need a CT scan or MRI I believe- or can’t they take a sample of the fluid to find out what it is? I’m glad you are on the Vanco, but you should know and not be “pretty sure” that you don’t have a hole in your head. Some peoples CSF leaks close up on their own and don’t require another surgery- but you should know. How are you feeling? How’s the headache?


They should be able to test the drainage and determine whether or not it is CSF, as well as send some samples for cultures to determine if there really is an infection or not. Hopefully they at least did that... I know I would want my doctors to do so. Hope everything is working out well and they figured it out by now.