The Life and Trials of a Pseudomeningocoele.


Share / Export Citation / Email / Print / Text size:

Australasian Journal of Neuroscience

Australian Association of Neuroscience Nursing

Subject: Nursing


ISSN: 1032-335X
eISSN: 2208-6781





Volume / Issue / page

Volume 31 (2021)
Volume 30 (2020)
Volume 29 (2019)
Volume 28 (2018)
Volume 27 (2017)
Volume 26 (2016)
Volume 25 (2015)
Related articles

VOLUME 26 , ISSUE 1 (May 2016) > List of articles

The Life and Trials of a Pseudomeningocoele.

Larissa Engel * / Maira Manch

Keywords : Pseudomeningocele, infection, cerebellar herniation, nursing care.

Citation Information : Australasian Journal of Neuroscience. Volume 26, Issue 1, Pages 33-37, DOI:

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Published Online: 25-January-2018



This case study introduces Ms Z. It discusses her story and the nursing care of her journey with a diagnosis of a pseudomeningocele. This case study was developed using direct interviews with the patient, discussions with the patient’s surgeon, research articles, viewing scans, photos and using the patient’s clinical notes. The patient’s journey with the pseudomeningocele spans over a 20 year period with many up’s and downs throughout, resulting with what is hoped to be a better quality of life. Ms Z’s symptoms started at the age of sixteen. She experienced severe headaches when she coughed or laughed and was seen by a neurologist at the time but no clear diagnosis was made.
Her symptoms continued and after multiple medical appointments, a diagnosis of Chiari Malformation was made. She had her first surgery in 2013 after which Ms Z reported her complications began to occur. She moved to New Zealand and started to get more unwell and presented to a rural emergency department (ED). She has undergone multiple procedures in New Zealand including long term intravenous (IV) antibiotics resulting from an infection previously undiagnosed. Nursing considerations will be discussed throughout the case study including peri and postoperative care for neurosurgical patients with pseudomeningoceles, complications to be aware of, and holistic support for patients - physical, emotional and psychological.

Content not available PDF Share



  1. Barker, E. M. (2008). Neuroscience nursing: A spectrum of care (3rd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.
  2. Bhatia, A., Maisonneuve, J., & Persing, D. (2004). Propionibacterium Acnes and Chronic Diseases. National Academies Press (US). Retrieved 30 August 2015,
  3. Cerebrospinal fluid. (2013). Retrieved 1 May 2016, from
  4. Couture, D., & Branch, C. L. (2003). Spinal pseudomeningoceles and cerebrospinal fluid fistu-las. Neurosurgical FOCUS, 15(6), 1-5. doi:10.3171/foc.2003.15.6.6. Retrieved 30 August 2015, viewarticle/466999_3
  5. Dafford, E. E., & Anderson, P. A. (2015). Comparison of dural repair techniques. The Spine Journal, 15 (5), 1099-1105. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2013.06.044
  6. Hawk, M. W., & Kim, K. D. (2000). Review of spinal pseudomeningoceles and cerebrospinalfluid fistulas. Neurosurgical FOCUS, 9(1), 1-8.doi:10.3171/foc.2000.9.1.5
  7. Hickey, J. V. (2009). The clinical practice of neurological and neurosurgical nursing (6th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  8. Lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drain. (2015). In Ward 28 (Neurosciences) Nursing Procedure Manual. Christchurch, New Zealand.
  9. Bamberger, D., & Boyd,S. (2005) Management of Staphylococcus Aureus Infections. Am Fam Physician. Dec 15;72(12):2474-2481.
  10. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2015). Chiari Malformation Fact Sheet [Website]. Retrieved August 30, 2015,
  11. Palmer, J., Chiu, A. (2012). Atlas of Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgery. Retrieved 30 August 2015, id=N7IkW7S5hugC&printsec=frontcover&sourc e=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false
  12. Roland, P. S., Marple, B. F., Meyerhoff, W. L., & Mickey, B. (1992). Complications of Lumbar Spinal Fluid Drainage. Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery, 107(4), 564-569.doi:10.1177/019459989210700409
  13. Rubin, M. (2014). Syrinx of the Spinal Cord or Brain Stem. Retrieved August 30 2015,
  14. Yoon, S. K., Song, S. H., Kang, N., Yoon, Y.-H., Koo, B.S., & Oh, S.-H. (2012). Reconstruction of the Head and Neck Region Using Lower Trapezius Musculocutaneous Flaps. Archives of Plastic Surgery, 39(6), 626–630.