Posterior epidural migration of thoracic disc herniation is extremely rare but may occur in the same manner as in the lumbar spine.
A 53-year-old Japanese man experienced sudden onset of incomplete paraplegia after lifting a heavy object. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a posterior epidural mass compressing the spinal cord at the T9-T10 level. The patient underwent emergency surgery consisting of laminectomy at T9-T10 with right medial facetectomy, removal of the mass lesion, and posterior instrumented fusion. Histological examination of the mass lesion yielded findings consistent with sequestered disc material. His symptoms resolved, and he was able to resume walking without a cane 4 weeks after surgery.
Pre-operative diagnosis of posterior epidural migration of herniated thoracic disc based on magnetic resonance imaging alone may be overlooked, given the rarity of this pathology. However, this entity should be considered among the differential diagnoses for an enhancing posterior thoracic extradural mass.
Intervertebral disc herniation; Posterior migration; Thoracic spine
We describe a case of acute lumbar epidural hematoma at the L2-3 level complicated by paraplegia, which occurred after coagulation disorder because of massive bleeding intraoperatively in cesarean section. The preoperative coagulation laboratory finding was in normal range and so we tried combined spinal epidural anesthesia. Uterine atony occurred in the operation, and there was persistant bleeding during and after the operation. After the operation, she complained of paresthesia on her both legs and was diagnosed with epidural hematoma (EDH) by radiologic examination. Emergency laminectomy on lumbar spine was carried out for hematoma evacuation and decompression of the epidural space at once. In our experience, massive bleeding during surgery may potentially increase the risk of EDH postoperatively.
Blood coagulation disorder; Cesarean section; Epidural anesthesia; Epidural hematoma; Postpartum hemorrhage; Spinal anesthesia
Spinal epidural hematoma is a well known complication of spinal surgery. Clinically insignificant small epidural hematomas develop in most spinal surgeries following laminectomy. However, the incidence of clinically significant postoperative spinal epidural hematomas that result in neurological deficits is extremely rare. In this report, we present a 33-year-old female patient whose spinal surgery resulted in postoperative spinal epidural hematoma. She was diagnosed with lumbar disc disease and underwent hemipartial lumbar laminectomy and discectomy. After twelve hours postoperation, her neurologic status deteriorated and cauda equina syndrome with acute spinal epidural hematoma was identified. She was immediately treated with surgical decompression and evacuation of the hematoma. The incidence of epidural hematoma after spinal surgery is rare, but very serious complication. Spinal epidural hematomas can cause significant spinal cord and cauda equina compression, requiring surgical intervention. Once diagnosed, the patient should immediately undergo emergency surgical exploration and evacuation of the hematoma.
Paraplegia following spinal epidural anesthesia is extremely rare. Various lesions for neurologic complications have been documented in the literature. We report a 66-year-old female who developed paraplegia after left knee surgery for osteoarthritis under spinal epidural anesthesia. In the recovery room, paraplegia and numbness below T4 vertebra was checked. A magnetic resonance image (MRI) scan showed a spinal thoracic intradural extramedullary (IDEM) tumor. After extirpation of the tumor, the motor weakness improved to the grade of 3/5. If a neurologic deficit following spinal epidural anesthesia does not resolve, a MRI should be performed without delay to accurately diagnose the cause of the deficit and optimal treatment should be rendered for the causative lesion.
Spinal epidural anesthesia; Spinal intradural extramedullary tumor
We report a series of epidural hematomas which cause neurologic deterioration after spinal surgery, and have taken risk factors and prognostic factors into consideration. We retrospectively reviewed the database of 3720 cases of spine operation in a single institute over 7 years (1998 April-2005 July). Nine patients who demonstrated neurologic deterioration after surgery and required surgical decompression were identified. Factors postulated to increase the postoperative epidural hematoma and to improve neurologic outcome were investigated. The incidence of postoperative epidural hematoma was 0.24%. Operation sites were cervical 3 cases, thoracic 2 cases, and lumbar 4 cases. Their original diagnoses were tumor 3 cases, cervical stenosis 2 cases, lumbar stenosis 3 cases and herniated lumbar disc 1case. The symptoms of epidural hematomas were neurologic deterioration and pain. After decompression, clinical outcome revealed complete recovery in 3 cases (33.3%), incomplete recovery in 5 cases (55.6%) and no change in 1 case (11.1%). Factors increasing the risk of postoperative epidural hematoma were coagulopathy from medical illness or anticoagulation therapy (4 cases, 44.4%) and highly vascularized tumor (3 cases, 33.3%). The time interval to evacuation of complete recovery group (29.3 hours) was shorter than incomplete recovery group (66.3 hours). Patients with coagulopathy and highly vascularized tumor were more vulnerable to spinal epidural hematoma. The postoperative outcome was related to the preoperative neurological deficit and the time interval to the decompression.
Clinical outcome; risk factor; postoperative; spinal epidural hematoma; spine surgery
Hyperextension injury in the thoracic spine is uncommon with only a few cases documented in the literature. The mechanism of these injuries is hyperextension combined with axial or shearing force. These types of injuries are associated with a high risk of dural tears and paraplegia. A 91-year-old female presented with acute back pain from a hyperextension injury in thoracic spine with no neurological deficit. Lumbar magnetic resonance imaging showed a intervertebral disc rupture. On day 20 of hospitalization, the herniated intervertebral disc compressed the spinal cord with incomplete paraplegia. Hyperextension injuries involving the three columns are very unstable and we recommend surgical treatment as soon as possible, not only because of the initial trauma, but a ruptured disc herniation can damage the spinal cord.
Thoracic Vertebrae; Paraplegia; Disc herniation
Lumbar epidural varices are rare and usually mimick lumbar disc herniations. Back pain and radiculopathy are the main symptoms of lumbar epidural varices. Perineural cysts are radiologically different lesions and should not be confused with epidural varix. A 36-year-old male patient presented to us with right leg pain. The magnetic resonance imaging revealed a cystic lesion at S1 level that was compressing the right root, and was interpreted as a perineural cyst. The patient underwent surgery via right L5 and S1 hemilaminectomy, and the lesion was coagulated and removed. The histopathological diagnosis was epidural varix. The patient was clinically improved and the follow-up magnetic resonance imaging showed the absence of the lesion. Lumbar epidural varix should be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of the cystic lesions which compress the spinal roots.
Epidural; Varix; Perineural cyst; Surgery
Paraplegia due to a spinal cord epidural mass is an extremely rare presentation of undiagnosed leukemia. We are reporting a case of 14-year-old girl, who presented with paraplegia due to thoracic epidural mass, as the initial presenting manifestation of acute myeloid leukemia. Granulocytic sarcoma or chloroma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of an epidural mass in patients with or with out leukemia granulocytic sarcoma, which are rare extramedullary tumor-like proliferation of myelogenous precursor cells that may de novo precede acute leukemia or coincide with the first manifestation or relapse of acute myeloid leukemia.
Acute myeloid leukemia; chloroma; granulocytic sarcoma
The authors have previously demonstrated that human herniated disc material contains high concentrations of free glutamate. In an experimental model, elevated epidural glutamate concentrations in the lumbar spine can cause a focal hyperesthetic state.
Rats underwent epidural glutamate infusion in the lumbar spine by a miniosmotic pump over a 72-hour period. Some rats underwent coinfusion with glutamate and ionotropic glutamate antagonists. Nociception was assessed by von Frey fibers and by assessment of glutamate receptor expression in the corresponding dorsal horn of the spinal cord.
The kainic acid antagonist, UBP 301, decreased epidural glutamate-based hyperesthesia in a dose dependent manner. Concordant with these findings, there was significant decrease in kainate receptor expression in the dorsal horn. The N-Methyl-4-isoxazoleproionic acid (NMDA) antagonist Norketamine also significantly diminished hyperesthesia and decreased receptor expression in the dorsal horn.
Both UBP 301, the kainic acid receptor antagonist and Norketamine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, dampened epidural glutamate-based nociception. Focal epidural injections of Kainate or NMDA receptor antagonists could be effective treatments for disc herniation-based lumbar radiculopathy.
Glutamate; norketamine; nociception; UBP 301
Multiple myeloma, a multicentric hematological malignancy, is the most common primary tumor of the spine. As epidural myeloma causing spinal cord compression is a rare condition, its therapeutic approach and clinical results have been reported to be diverse, and no clear guidelines for therapeutic decision have been established. Three patients presented with progressive paraplegia and sensory disturbance. Image and serological studies revealed multiple myeloma and spinal cord compression caused by epidural myeloma. Emergency radiotherapy and steroid therapy were performed in all three cases. However, their clinical courses and results were distinctly different. Following review of our cases and the related literature, we suggest a systematic therapeutic approach for these patients to achieve better clinical results.
Multiple myeloma; Spine; Spinal cord compression
Calcified thoracic intradural disc herniations have recently been reported as a cause of spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH). We report successful treatment of SIH with a targeted CT-guided epidural blood patch.
A 57-year-old man presented to the emergency department with a two-week history of progressively debilitating headache. CT and MRI of the brain showed findings consistent with intracranial hypotension and MRI of the spine showed findings consistent with CSF leak. Subsequent CT myelogram of the thoracic spine confirmed the presence of CSF leak and calcified disc herniations at the T6-7, T7-8 and T8-9 levels indenting the ventral dura and spinal cord. The calcified disc herniation at T6-7 had an intradural component and was therefore the most likely site of the CSF leak. Under CT fluoroscopic guidance, a 20-gauge Tuohy needle was progressively advanced into the dorsal epidural space at T6-7. After confirmation of needle tip position, approximately 18cc of the patient's own blood was sterilely removed from an arm vein and slowly re-injected into the dorsal epidural space. With satisfactory achievement of clot formation, the procedure was terminated. The patient tolerated the procedure well. The next morning, his symptoms had completely resolved and he was neurologically intact. At five-week follow up, he was symptom-free.
Targeted epidural blood patch at the site of presumed CSF leak can be carried out in a safe and effective manner using CT fluoroscopic guidance and can be an effective alternative to open surgical management in selected patients.
spontaneous intracranial hypotension, targeted epidural blood patch, thoracic disc herniation
The postoperative infectious spondylitis has been reported to occur among every 1% to 12%. It is difficult to early diagnose in some cases. If the diagnosis is delayed, it can be a life-threatening condition. We report a 32-year-old male patient with postoperative infectious spondylitis. He had surgical treatments for traumatic intervertebral disc herniations in L3-4 and L4-5. Three weeks after surgery, he complained for fever and paraplegia. Cervicothoracic magnetic resonance imaging showed the collapsed T2 and T3 vertebral body with changes of bone marrow signal intensity. Moreover, it showed anterior and posterior epidural masses causing spinal cord compressions which suggested infectious spondylitis. After the use of antibiotics and surgical decompressions T2-T3, his general conditions were improved and muscle power of lower extremities began to be gradually restored. However, we could not identify the exact organisms that may be the cause of infectious spondylitis. It could be important that the infectious spondylitis, which is presented away from the primary operative level, should be observed in patients with fevers of unknown origin and paraplegia.
Spondylitis; Intervertebral disc displacement; Spinal cord compression
A 68-year-old male presented with rapidly progressive paraplegia. MR images of the thoracic spine were interpreted as being consistent with an abscess within an epidural lipomatosis compressing the spinal cord. Laminectomy was performed, and a large amount of pus was drained from the epidural lipomatosis, from which Staphylococcus aureus was isolated. This is the first reported case of an abscess involving an epidural lipomatosis.
Epidural lipomatosis; Spinal abscess; Magnetic resonance imaging
Vertebral haemangiomas are recognized to be one of the commonest benign tumours of the vertebral column, occurring mostly in the thoracic spine. The vast majority of these are asymptomatic. Infrequently, these can turn symptomatic and cause neurological deficit (cord compression) through any of four reported mechanisms: (1) epidural extension; (2) expansion of the involved vertebra(e) causing spinal canal stenosis; (3) spontaneous epidural haemorrhage; (4) pathological burst fracture. Thoracic haemangiomas have been reported to be more likely to produce cord compression than lumbar haemangiomas.
A forty-nine year old male with acute onset spinal cord compression from a pathological fracture in a first lumbar vertebral haemangioma. An MRI delineated the haemangioma and extent of bleeding that caused the cord compression. These were confirmed during surgery and the haematoma was evacuated. The spine was instrumented from T12 to L2, and a cement vertebroplasty was performed intra-operatively. Written consent for publication was obtained from the patient.
The junctional location of the first lumbar vertebra, and the structural weakness from normal bone being replaced by the haemangioma, probably caused it to fracture under axial loading. This pathological fracture caused bleeding from the vascularized bone, resulting in cord compression.
Vertebral haemangioma; Pathological fracture; Spinal cord compression; Vertebroplasty; Paralysis; Paraparesis
Low Back Pain (LBP) and radicular leg pain (RLP) after lumbar disc surgery are great challenges that prevent patients and neurosurgeons in making a surgical decision. By spinal anesthesia, LBP and RLP diminish up to 2 to 3 hours postoperatively. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of impregnated epidural adipose tissue (EAT) with bupivacaine or methylprednisolone acetate on reduction of late postoperative pain after spinal anesthesia.
This study was performed on lumbar disc herniation surgery under spinal anesthesia. Sixty six patients entered our study who were divided into three groups, EAT impregnated with bupivacaine (group 1), methylprednisolone acetate (group2) and normal saline (control group). The LBP and RLP were evaluated during the first 24 hours postoperatively and 14 days later by visual analogue scale (VAS).
Of 66 patients, 53% were female and 47% male. The average (SE) LBP in the first 6 hours after surgery based on VAS were 1.59 ± 0.90 in group one, 2.36 ± 2.38 in group 2 and 3.09 ± 1.41 in control group but the VAS for RLP in this period were 1.95 ± 1.13, 1.31 ± 1.39 and 2.40 ± 1.09, respectively. The average LBP and RLP did not show any differences after 14 days postoperatively.
According to our data bupivacaine was effective on LBP relief and steroid was effective on RLP relief during the first 12 hours after surgery.
Intervertebral Disc Degeneration; Bupivacaine; Prednisolone Acetate; Adipose Tissue
Many studies have reported spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH). Although most cases are idiopathic, several are associated with thrombolytic therapy or anticoagulants. We report a case of SSEH coincident with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), which caused serious neurological deficits. A 56 year old man presented with chest pain accompanied with back and neck pain, which was regarded as an atypical symptom of AMI. He was treated with nitroglycerin, aspirin, low molecular weight heparin, and clopidogrel. A spinal magnetic resonance image taken after paraplegia developed 3 days after the initial symptoms revealed an epidural hematoma at the cervical and thoracolumbar spine. Despite emergent decompressive surgery, paraplegia has not improved 7 months after surgery. A SSEH should be considered when patients complain of abrupt, strong, and non-traumatic back and neck pain, particularly if they have no spinal pain history.
Acute myocardial infarction; Hematoma, epidural, spinal; Paraplegia; Thrombolytic therapy; Anticoagulants
Forty canine patients with a presumptive diagnosis of the intervertebral disc herniation at the thoracolumbar region were imaged. A neurological examination was performed and all patients were classified under four grades by the examination. The degrees of attenuation of the herniated disc material were measured in Housefield units (HU) in each image. The ratio of the area to herniated disc material and the height to disc material were measured. The clinical grade was correlated with the area ratio of the herniated disc material to the spinal cord, but not correlated with the height ratio of that. In the patients with epidural hemorrhage at surgery, HUs of the herniated disc material was lower than those with no epidural hemorrhage at surgery. Non-contrast computed tomography scans of the spine can be useful in diagnosing acute intervertebral disc disease in chondrodystrophoid breeds, evaluating patient status and identifying concurrent epidural hemorrhage.
area; CT; dog; epidural hemorrhage; intervertebral disc disease
Paralysis is the most feared postoperative complication of ACDF and occurs most often due to an epidural hematoma. In the absence of a clear etiology, inadequate decompression or vascular insult such as ischemia/reperfusion injury are the usual suspects. Herewith we report a case of complete loss of somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) during elective ACDF at C4-5 and C5-6 followed by postoperative C6 incomplete tetraplegia without any discernible technical cause. A postoperative MRI demonstrated a large area of high signal changes on T2-weighted MRI intrinsic to the cord “white cord syndrome” but no residual compression. This was considered consistent with spinal cord gliosis with possible acute edema. The acute decompression of the herniated disc resulted in cord expansion and rush-in reperfusion. We postulate that this may have led to disruption in the blood brain barrier (BBB) and triggered a cascade of reperfusion injuries resulting in acute neurologic dysfunction. At 16 months postoperatively our patient is recovering slowly and is now a Nurick Grade 4.
Continuous epidural blockade remains the cornerstone of pediatric regional anesthesia. However, the risk of catastrophic trauma to the spinal cord when inserting direct thoracic and high lumbar epidural needles in anesthetized or heavily sedated pediatric patients is a concern. To reduce this risk, research has focused on low lumbar or caudal blocks (ie, avoiding the spinal cord) and threading catheters from distal puncture sites in a cephalad direction. However, with conventional epidural techniques, including loss-of-resistance for localization of the needle, optimal catheter tip placement is difficult to assess because considerable distances are required during threading. Novel approaches include electrical epidural stimulation for physiological confirmation and segmental localization of epidural catheters, and ultrasound guidance for assessing related neuroanatomy and real-time observation of the needle puncture and, potentially, catheter advancement. The present article provides a brief and focused review of these two advances, and outlines recent clinical experiences relevant to pediatric epidural anesthesia.
Electrical epidural stimulation; Epidural anesthesia and analgesia; Pediatric; Review; Ultrasound
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma is an uncommon cause of cord compression in children, especially in infants. An 8-month-old infant was admitted to our hospital for a 40-day history of paraparesis in the lower extremities. This rapidly progressed to paraparesis with an inability to move the lower extremities. MRI of the cervicothoracic spine revealed an epidural mass with compression of the spinal cord. The infant underwent C7-T3 total laminectomies. The pathology and postoperative MRI confirmed spinal epidural hematoma from a vascular malformation. We present the case to highlight the significance of recognizing this chronic spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma and discuss the diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis.
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma is a relatively rare but potentially disabling disease. Prompt timely surgical management may promote recovery even in severe cases.
We report a 34-year-old man with a 2-hour history of sudden severe back pain, followed by weakness and numbness over the bilateral lower limbs, progressing to intense paraparesis and anesthesia. A spinal magnetic resonance imaging scan was performed and revealed an anterior epidural hematoma of the thoracic spine. He underwent an emergency decompression laminectomy of the thoracic spine and hematoma evacuation. Just after surgery, his lower extremity movements improved. After 1 week, there was no residual weakness and ambulation without assistance was resumed, with residual paresthesia on the plantar face of both feet. After 5 months, no residual symptoms persisted.
The diagnosis of spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma must be kept in mind in cases of sudden back pain with symptoms of spinal cord compression. Early recognition, accurate diagnosis and prompt surgical treatment may result in significant improvement even in severe cases.
We present a rare case of delayed onset of epidural hematoma after lumbar surgery whose only presenting symptom was vesicorectal disturbance. A 68-year-old man with degenerative spinal stenosis underwent lumbar decompression and instrumented posterolateral spine fusion. The day after his discharge following an unremarkable postoperative course, he presented to the emergency room complaining of difficulty in urination. An MRI revealed an epidural fluid collection causing compression of the thecal sac. The fluid was evacuated, revealing a postoperative hematoma. After removal of the hematoma, his symptoms disappeared immediately, and his urinary function completely recovered. Most reports have characterized postoperative epidural hematoma as occurring early after operation and accompanied with neurological deficits. But it can happen even two weeks after spinal surgery with no pain. Surgeons thus may need to follow up patients for at least a few weeks because some complications, such as epidural hematomas, could take that long to manifest themselves.
We report a case of a 44-year-old patient with paralysis of the left leg who had a thoracic epidural catheterization after general anesthesia for abdominal surgery. Sensory losses below T10 and motor weakness of the left leg occurred after the surgery. Magnetic resonance image study demonstrated a well-defined intramedullary linear high signal intensity lesion on T2-weighted image and low-signal intensity on T1-weighted image in the spinal cord between T9 and L1 vertebral level, and enhancements of the spinal cord below T8 vertebra and in the cauda equina. Electrodiagnostic examination revealed lumbosacral polyradiculopathy affecting nerve roots below L4 level on left side. We suggest that the intrinsic spinal cord lesion and nerve root lesion can be caused by an epidural catheterization with subsequent local anesthetic injection.
Spinal cord injuries; Epidural analgesia; Paralysis
Bacteria in the Streptococcus milleri group (S. anginosus, S. constellatus, and S. intermedius) are associated with bacteremia and abscess formation. While most reports of Streptococcus milleri group (SMG) infection occur in patients with underlying medical conditions, SMG infections during pregnancy have been documented. However, SMG infections in pregnant women are associated with either neonatal or maternal puerperal sepsis. Albeit rare, S. milleri spinal-epidural abscess in pregnancy has been reported, always as a complication of spinal-epidural anesthesia. We report a case of spinal-epidural abscess caused by SMG in a young, pregnant woman without an antecedent history of spinal epidural anesthesia and without any underlying risk factors for invasive streptococcal disease.
A 25 year old pregnant woman developed neurological symptoms consistent with spinal cord compression at 20 weeks gestation. She underwent emergency laminectomy for decompression and was treated with ceftriaxone 2 gm IV daily for 28 days. She was ambulatory at the time of discharge from the inpatient rehabilitation unit with residual lower extremity weakness.
To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of a Streptococcus milleri epidural abscess in a healthy, pregnant woman with no history of epidural anesthesia or invasive procedures. This report adds to the body of literature on SMG invasive infections. Treatment of SMG spinal-epidural abscess with neurologic manifestations should include prompt and aggressive surgical decompression coupled with targeted anti-infective therapy.
Spinal epidural lipomatosis (SEL) is an overgrowth of the normally encapsulated adipose tissue in the epidural space around the spinal cord in the thoracic and lumbar spine causing compression of the neural components. Idiopathic SEL in non-obese patients is exceptional. Idiopathic SEL can result in thoracic myelopathy and lumbar radiculopathy. A thoracic radiculopathy due to idiopathic SEL has not been reported yet. We report a case of idiopathic SEL with intractable chest pain and paresthesia. We suggest that idiopathic SEL should be considered as a cause of chest pain.
Spinal; Idiopathic; Epidural; Lipomatosis; Thoracic; Chest pain