Delayed Onset Intracranial Subdural Hematoma Following Spinal Surgery

Isik S., Yilmaz B., Eksi M. Ş. , Ozcan-Eksi E. E. , Akakin A., Toktas Z. O. , ...More

JOURNAL OF CRANIOFACIAL SURGERY, vol.27, no.4, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/scs.0000000000002632


In this case-based review, the authors analyzed relevant literature with an illustrative patient of theirs about subdural hematoma secondary to dural tear at spinal surgery. Intracranial hypotension is a condition of decreased cerebrospinal fluid volume and pressure. Even though intracranial hypotension is temporary and can be managed conservatively, it may progress and result in subdural fluid collections, hematoma formations, "brain sagging or slumping'' states, syringohydromyelia, encephalopathy, coma, and even death. The authors present an 81-year-old man admitted with subdural hematoma 50 days following previous spinal surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis. In his previous spinal surgery he had had dural tear, which had been closed primarily. To the literature, only 21 patients have been reported to develop subdural hematoma following spinal surgery. In patients with subdural hematoma following spinal surgery, the female: male ratio was 3: 4 and the median age was 55 years. Surgical diagnoses for previous spinal surgeries were intervertebral disc herniation (5), spinal canal stenosis and spondylolisthesis (6), failed back syndrome (2), tethered cord syndrome and myelodysplastic spine (2), spinal cord tumor, spinal epidural hematoma, vertebral dislocation, vertebral fracture, vertebral tumor, and inflammatory spine. Patients presented with signs and symptoms of subdural hematoma within 6 hours to 50 days following the spinal surgery. Source of cerebrospinal fluid leak was most commonly from lumbar region (13 patients, 62%). Ten of 21 (48%) patients were treated conservatively. Late-onset neurological findings should not prevent the evaluation of cranial vault with computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. Spinal dural tear should be more aggressively treated instead of suture alone approach, when recognized in older patients during the spinal surgery.