THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF CHRONIC HEADACHES COULD BE VERY FATAL. STAY CAUTIOUS. GET CHECKED.

THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF CHRONIC HEADACHES COULD BE VERY FATAL. STAY CAUTIOUS. GET CHECKED.

Headaches are the most common type of pain and can happen to anyone. A headache is a symptom, but it can also indicate an underlying condition that needs immediate medical attention. For this reason, it is important to get diagnosed and treated accordingly so you do not become seriously ill in future. For better understanding, here is a case study.

Vara Lakshmi (name changed) is a 38 years female, who was suffering from joint pains from past few years. Recently, she developed periodical head ache, which was more severe early in the morning. On enquiry for recent head injury, there was no suggestion like that.  She consulted her doctor. He tried for few weeks with pain medications. She found some relief, but developed a new problem i.e Vertigo. This time her doctor did a CT Scan of the brain. He got surprised to see sub-dural hematoma (type of bleeding) on both sides of the brain and referred her to the neuro department of Star Hospital.

She was investigated thoroughly for heart problems, blood coagulation defects, blood vessel malformations, kidney related problems and liver disorders. Finally, she informed the doctor that she was taking medications for joint pains. She was detected with prominent osteophytes in the upper thoracic spine. An MRI scan of the spine was done which showed CSF leak in to the thoracic spine. She underwent a Minimally Invasive Procedure CT guided blood patch to stop the CSF leak. She got relief from head ache and did well for 2 weeks. But her happiness was short lived. She became talking irrelevant, developed vomiting and became unconscious. This time her CT Scan brain showed blood & Hemorrhages on both sides of the brain. She underwent emergency surgery for the sub-dural hematoma. She improved in consciousness, she began talking coherently, eating well and walking around. Then 2 days later she underwent spinal surgery and repair of the CSK leak. She went home walking happily.

This condition is called spontaneous spinal cerebrospinal leak. It is a rare disorder seen in about 5 to 10 individuals in 100000 Population. Often the diagnosis is missed and the patient suffers in going around the hospital. This required a team of dedicated neurologists, interventional radiologists and neurosurgeons at the Star Hospital to send the patient walking home happily.

By

Dr. Bhuvaneswara Raju Basina

MBBS, MS, M.Ch

Consultant Neuro Surgeon, STAR Hospitals

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