Intradural spinal cord tumors present many challenges to patients and the healthcare professionals providing treatment. Given the tumor's attachment to dural tissue, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks are an anticipated challenge. If present, CSF leaks can lead to infection and increased length of stay. A 59-year-old female admitted for surgical excision of a cervical schwannoma developed a persistent postoperative CSF leak. Following multiple surgical attempts to repair the dura with concomitant lumbar drainage for decompression, a ventriculostomy with conversion to a shunt was performed. Following the procedure, the patient's wound healed completely 6 weeks after her initial surgery. Ventriculostomy is a viable option for treatment of persistent CSF wound drainage after excision of cervical schwannoma surgery.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Susan Yeager, MS RN ACNP CCRN, email@example.com. She is a trauma nurse practitioner at The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH.