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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
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My father had a back surgery to remove hardware that was put

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My father had a back surgery to remove hardware that was put in his back 1 yr ago. After surgery he awoke just fine no problems, surgery went well. They found the hardware was rubbing in the spine that caused a fluid pocket so they kept him over night. That night at about 1:30 he became very confussed. They did a CT of the brain and found a small amout of blood and some air in the brain, they said it was NOT a stroke. It has been a month now and he still is showing stroke like symptoms, they said the air is gone. They are now callig it a CVA. How long does the recovery take and do they? He is not eating well at all and can not stand by his self now. Is this normal?

Hello.

 

If they saw a "fluid pocket" in the spine surgery, I assume that there was some sort of spinal fluid leak during the surgery.

 

This could explain the blood and the air in the brain on the head CT scan -- because the blood from the surgical site in the lower back can enter into wherever the spinal fluid leak was occurring and travel to the brain. So I would agree that this is not a stroke.

 

However, it is possible that the air and the blood was irritating to the brain, and can cause headaches and confusion in people. However - if this was one month ago, and he is still not doing well, this is beyond the timeframe in which I would expect him to have improved just based on that fluid pocket / leak in surgery.

 

Certainly, if he had a stroke during surgery, this could cause some of the symptoms, but that air in the brain is not the stroke. A MRI of the brain at this point can see if there was a stroke, and may help to explain his persistent neurologic symptoms. He also would benefit from seeing a neurologist.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.


They have done CTs and MRI and it showed no strokes, but they are saying now it was a CVA. thats is a form of a stroke correct? What would be the next step? He seems very depressed also

If they did a MRI that showed no stroke, then I'm not sure what they are referring to as a "CVA", since that is essentially a stroke -- which would have shown up on the MRI.

I would have him seen by a neurologist, to sort through what you have been told, and to see if there are actual issues causing these "stroke-like" symptoms.