Your central nervous system, which includes your brain and spinal cord, controls every part of your body. If you suffer a serious traumatic brain injury during a car crash or have spinal cord damage, you are likely to experience some major complications.
Unfortunately, some catastrophic TBIs are difficult for doctors to diagnose, as they share common symptoms with other ailments. A cerebrospinal fluid leak is one of them.
What does cerebrospinal fluid do?
Cerebrospinal fluid looks like water and has a similar consistency. This fluid surrounds your brain and spinal cord, helping to deliver oxygen and vital nutrients throughout your central nervous system. Furthermore, the cerebrospinal fluid provides structural support to your brain and spinal cord.
Why does cerebrospinal fluid leak?
Your cerebrospinal fluid stays in place behind a thin membrane. If this membrane breaks, cerebrospinal fluid can leak through your ears or out your nose. Head trauma during a car accident may be sufficient to rupture the membrane and cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak.
How does a cerebrospinal fluid leak affect you?
In minor cases, cerebrospinal fluid leaks may deprive your brain and spinal cord of nutrients, oxygen and support. These leaks may also lead to catastrophic brain infections and other complications, such as paralysis. Because you probably cannot distinguish between a minor and major leak, it is critical for you to seek emergency medical treatment for any suspected problem with your cerebrospinal fluid.
From bed rest to surgery, doctors have many options for repairing cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Ultimately, though, to improve your chances of recovering completely, you must receive both a prompt diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan.