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hello, i'm 21 years old and female, and i have a question. about six weeks ago, my ex-boyfriend elbowed me very hard in the face (specifically, the left side of my nose). almost immediately afterward, i could feel a fluid begin forming high up in my left nostril and it quickly made its way down. i was expecting the fluid to be blood, but it ended up being a clear, watery substance. the following day, i felt like i had a terrible cold; lots of sinus pain, pressure in my head, what felt like a fever, and, of course, a runny nose. as the days went on, the symptoms became worse. my nose, which had initially been running fluidly, became very congested and i began sneezing more and more frequently. as well, when i would walk around, especially outside, i would get a horrible sore throat. after about five days, i was so ill that i finally decided to go see my doctor. he was immediately concerned about the watery substance leaking from my nose and scheduled an appointment for me to see a neurologist at the hospital for the very next day. once i met with the neurologist, i was told i would need to stay in the hospital for an indefinite amount of time. i was told that it looked as though i had a cerebrospinal fluid leak caused by the elbow to my face and i would need to stay in the hospital until the fluid stopped leaking (whether it stopped naturally or with surgery). i also lost my sense of smell on the left side of my nose. while there, i had 4 CT scans and a spinal tap to determine if i had meningitis. although tests proved i did not have a fever, it felt as though i had one, and i'm not sure why. after about four days, the leaking appeared to have stopped and i was allowed to go home. however, since being home, i have not been well. initially, i had extreme dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and severe pressure around my head. those symptoms have slowly eased up a little, however, they are certainly not gone. it is still hard to sit up and stand for long periods of time. my head is often itchy and i get numb and/or tingly areas. as well, it often hurts to touch my head (washing my hair is often painful) and i have moments where my face feels extremely hot. i saw another neurologist a few weeks ago who thinks i may have post concussion syndrome, but it is not certain. he also mentioned the possibly of surgery. i had an mri and another CT scan last week but i haven't gotten any results. i was just wondering, is there anyone who can shed some light on what i might be dealing with? my doctors have been slow in telling me things so i've been trying to do my own research.


did your symptoms clear?

it seems like you still have a csf leak

did they do epidural blood patch when you were in the hospital?

if not, the csf leak may not have healed

do all of your symptoms clear when you lie in a decline position (your legs and chest higher than your head)?

if so, you almost certainly still have a csf leak

write back if you still need some help


also the spinal tap to test for meningitis could have created a new csf leak

the first leak from the head trauma high up on your neck or brain drained into your sinuses

maybe the first one cleared and maybe it didn't and the hospital staff sent you home

but while you were at the hospital you had a spinal tap

that puncture to your dura could have resulted in a new csf leak

however it was to the lumbar and it is too low to leak into your sinuses

so you could still have a new csf leak or the first one never resolved or both

if you still have the symptoms you described and you test the decline (recumbent or Trendelenburg ) position and your symptoms clear, you almost certainly have a csf leak

i hope my post is too late because your symptoms have already resolved on their own (most csf leaks heal themselves within 6 months)

let me know if you still need help


I had a csf leak, and your symptoms sound very familiar - almost exact - to mine. My leak was however in my spine. Very difficult to diagnose. I eventually went to Dr. Bahram Mokri at Mayo Clinic in MN, and he was absolu1tely amazing. I am doing great, 8 years later.