My husband just came out of spinal surgery. They took two discs out and fused his spine. This is his third back surgery. This time he had a dural tear during the operation. The surgeon said it's all been repaired so he's okay. He didn't have this problem with the first two surgeries...why now?

The covering around the spinal cord is called the dural sac. Dural tears are more common when there is scar tissue from a previous surgery.

The risk of dural tears also goes up when the surgery is complex or requires going back in to the same place surgery was done before.

Your husband may have some symptoms from the dural tear. Headaches, dizziness, and nausea are the first signs. Back and leg pain are also common with this problem.

The patient may have some continued symptoms and problems from the dural tear long after healing takes place. Researchers aren't sure why this happens. It may be the way the tear is repaired. More studies are needed to help prevent long-term problems.