Incidental durotomy is a frequent complication of lumbar spinal surgery. The number and complexity of spinal procedures is increasing, leading to a greater prevalence of dural tears; therefore, it is imperative that spine surgeons be familiar with safe and effective closure techniques. Occasionally, a tear may not be recognized during the procedure, so that one must recognize the signs and symptoms of a cerebrospinal fluid leak postoperatively. Several newer treatment concepts show promise. The current study represents an extensive review of the recent literature on the prevalence, mechanism, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of dural tears. The authors provide an overview of the problem, an update on current treatment strategies, and describe the senior author's technique of repair, which is easy to do and is effective in stopping additional leakage of cerebrospinal fluid.

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