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What causes headache and back pain post lower back surgery?

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Posted on Tue, 10 May 2016
Question: 59 yr old wife had lower back surgery last May. Very successful. Spent two weeks in Israel last month, no problems except developed a rash on her extremities VERY itchy. prednazone seemed to get rid of it. 2 wks ago she had terrible back- and head aches, loss of use of legs. Has been in Emergency Room 3 x in past two weeks and hospitalized for 8 days. 5 MRIs, spinal tap showing CSfluid with blood. Now home but bad headache backache malaise, has to crawl from bed to bathroom. Nobody can identify, locate or fix problem. Started with kidney stone, straining to try to pass stone plus violent vomiting, then the bad headache/backache. Help!
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Answered by Dr. Tushar Kanti Biswas (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Return of backache with headache following back surgery (?dorso-lumbar )

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query. I can understand your concerns.

It seems her present problem of return of backache and now also with headache is related to back surgery.It might have caused meningitis/meningo-encephalitis consequent to procedure.
Any MRI brain has been done?.CSF is bloody tap and hence inconclusive.Repeat CSF study is necessary including culture and sensitivity(C/S) test.Pending C/S report a broad spectrum antibiotic preferably ceftriaxone,vancomycin combination in meningitic doses may have to be given,if clearly indicated.
Loss of use of legs i.e paraplegia is either due to compressive myelopathy or cauda-equina syndrome.Has she any bowel or bladder incontinence too?Is she on urinary catheter ?
Renal stone may be additionally contributing to her flank/back side pain.






Regards

Dr. T.K. Biswas M.D. XXXXXXX

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Answered by
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Dr. Tushar Kanti Biswas

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1975

Answered : 1909 Questions

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What causes headache and back pain post lower back surgery?

Brief Answer: Return of backache with headache following back surgery (?dorso-lumbar ) Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for your query. I can understand your concerns. It seems her present problem of return of backache and now also with headache is related to back surgery.It might have caused meningitis/meningo-encephalitis consequent to procedure. Any MRI brain has been done?.CSF is bloody tap and hence inconclusive.Repeat CSF study is necessary including culture and sensitivity(C/S) test.Pending C/S report a broad spectrum antibiotic preferably ceftriaxone,vancomycin combination in meningitic doses may have to be given,if clearly indicated. Loss of use of legs i.e paraplegia is either due to compressive myelopathy or cauda-equina syndrome.Has she any bowel or bladder incontinence too?Is she on urinary catheter ? Renal stone may be additionally contributing to her flank/back side pain. Regards Dr. T.K. Biswas M.D. XXXXXXX