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Postoperative cerebrospinal-fluid fistula associated with erosion of the dura. Findings after anterior resection of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament in the cervical spine
MD Smith; MJ Bolesta; M Leventhal; HH Bohlman
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1992 Feb 01;74(2):270-277
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Of twenty-two patients who had had anterior decompression of the spinal canal for ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament and cervical myelopathy, seven had absence of the dura adjacent to the ossified part of the ligament. The spinal cord and nerve-roots were visible through this defect. Although the arachnoid membrane appeared to be intact and watertight in most patients, a cerebrospinal-fluid fistula developed postoperatively in five, and three had a second operation to repair the defect in the dura. On the basis of this experience, we recommend use of autogenous muscle or fascial dural patches, immediate lumbar subarachnoid shunting, and modification of the usual postoperative regimen, such as limitation of mechanical pulmonary ventilation to the shortest time that is safely possible and use of anti-emetic and antitussive medications to protect the remaining coverings of the spinal cord when the dura is found to be absent adjacent to an ossified portion of the posterior longitudinal ligament in the cervical spine.

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