Your central nervous system includes your brain, spinal cord and nerves. While wearing a safety-rated helmet and other protective gear every time you ride is one of the more effective ways to reduce injury risk to your central nervous system, you probably cannot eliminate it.
In a serious motorcycle crash, you may suffer a traumatic brain injury. Even though some TBIs resolve on their own without medical intervention, others are medical emergencies that require immediate diagnosis and treatment. A cerebrospinal fluid leak typically falls into the latter category.
What is cerebrospinal fluid?
Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear and watery substance that delivers oxygen and nutrients to your brain and spinal cord. This fluid also provides support to these parts of your central nervous system. Consequently, having a normal supply of cerebrospinal fluid is critical to your overall health.
What causes cerebrospinal fluid to leak?
Any trauma to the head may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak. During a motorcycle crash, though, you may develop one after hitting your head on the pavement or something else. Even absent a blow to the head, the rapid deceleration that often occurs in motorcycle accidents may cause a cerebrospinal fluid leak to develop.
What are the consequences of a cerebrospinal fluid leak?
A minor cerebrospinal fluid leak may cause you to suffer from headaches, nausea or disorientation. If you do not receive prompt treatment, however, you may have an increased chance of developing complications. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these complications may include brain infections, paralysis and long-term brain damage.
From bed rest to surgery, doctors typically have a few options for treating cerebrospinal fluid leaks and preventing catastrophic complications. Ultimately, with early diagnosis and effective treatment, you may increase your chances of returning to your pre-crash good health.