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1.  Spontaneous resolution of paraparesis because of acute spontaneous thoracolumbar epidural hematoma 
Background
Symptomatic spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma(SSEH) is an uncommon cause of cord compression that commonly is considered an indication for emergent surgical decompression. We aimed to investigate a patient with a SSEH that completely resolved clinically and radiographically, without surgical treatment. The patient presented three days after the sudden onset of back pain, numbness, and weakness. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) revealed a posterior thoracolumbar epidural hematoma extending from the level of T10 to L2 with significant cord compression. Decompression was recommended but he refused surgery and was managed conservatively. One month later weakness totally recovered and hematoma was absent on MRI.
PMCID: PMC3482330  PMID: 23115720
Spinal epidural hematoma; Cord compression; Conservative therapy
2.  Complete motor recovery after acute paraparesis caused by spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma: case report 
Background
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma is a relatively rare but potentially disabling disease. Prompt timely surgical management may promote recovery even in severe cases.
Case presentation
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-227X-11-10
PMCID: PMC3160384  PMID: 21794133
3.  Thunderclap headache as a presentation of spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma with spontaneous recovery 
Background
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is a rare spinal cord compression disorder. Thunderclap headache mimicking subarachnoid hemorrhage as an initial manifestation of this disorder has been scarcely reported. Moreover, the neurological outcome of conservative treatment is satisfactory only in some clinical settings. The unusual presentation and mechanisms for spontaneous recovery of SSEH are discussed.
Objective
To report a case of SSEH that presented with acute severe headache that mimicked subarachnoid hemorrhage. After a period of neurological deficit, spontaneous improvement was seen, which progressed to full recovery without neurosurgical intervention.
Findings
A 62-year-old man presented with acute occipital headache and neck stiffness for which subarachnoid hemorrhage was initially suspected. An emergency computed tomographic brain scan and cerebrospinal fluid analysis excluded subarachnoid hemorrhage. Later, he developed acute paraparesis, hypoesthesia up to the fourth thoracic dermatomal level (T4) as well as bowel and bladder dysfunction. The magnetic resonance imaging eventually revealed spinal epidural hematoma, located anterior to C7 through T4 spinal level. He had no previous history of spinal injury, systemic, and hematological disorders. The neurological recovery began 20 hours after the onset and continued until complete recovery, 4 months after the onset without neurosurgical intervention.
Conclusion
SSEH could sometimes imitate subarachnoid hemorrhages when it located in the cervical region. Spontaneous recovery of SSEH without surgical intervention might be possible in cases with continuing neurological recovery, although the recovery began much later in the clinical course.
doi:10.1179/2045772313Y.0000000104
PMCID: PMC3831335  PMID: 24090118
Headache; Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Paraparesis
4.  Spontaneous Spinal Epidural Hematoma in an Infant : A Case Report and Review of the Literature 
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is rare in children, especially in infants, in whom only 12 cases have been reported. Because of the nonspecificity of presenting symptoms in children, the diagnosis may be delayed. We report herein a case of SSEH in a 20-month-old girl who initially presented with neck pain, and developed lower extremity motor weakness and symptoms of neurogenic bladder 2 weeks prior to admission. The magnetic resonance imaging showed an epidural mass lesion extending from C7 to T4, and the spinal cord was severely compressed by the mass. After emergency decompressive surgery the neurologic function was improved immediately. Two months after surgery, the neurological status was normal with achievement of spontaneous voiding. We suggest that surgical intervention can provide excellent prognosis in case of SSEH in infants, even if surgery delayed.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2008.44.2.84
PMCID: PMC2588330  PMID: 19096698
Spontaneous; Spinal epidural hematoma; Infant; Laminotomy
5.  Spontaneous epidural hematoma of thoracic spine presenting as Brown-Séquard syndrome: report of a case with review of the literature 
Background
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is an uncommon clinical entity. It produces a severe neurological deficit and prompt decompression is usually the first choice of treatment. Brown-Séquard syndrome is commonly seen in the setting of spinal trauma or an extramedullary spinal neoplasm, but rarely caused by SSEH.
Methods
Case report and literature review.
Findings
A previously healthy man presented with Brown-Séquard syndrome below T5–T6 cord segment secondary to spontaneous epidural hematoma. He opted for conservative treatment, which was followed by rapid resolution.
Conclusions
Although Brown-Séquard syndrome as a presenting feature of SSEH is rare, it does exist in exceptional case, which should be taken into consideration for differential diagnosis. Prompt surgical decompression is an absolute surgical indication widely accepted for patient with progressive neurological deficit. However, SSEH presenting with incomplete neurological insult such as Brown-Séquard syndrome might have a benign course. Successful non-operative management of this problem does not make it a standard of care, and surgical decompression remains the standard treatment for SSEH.
doi:10.1179/107902611X13069205199468
PMCID: PMC3152816  PMID: 21903018
Spinal epidural hematoma; Brown-Séquard syndrome; Thoracic vertebra; Spinal cord; Methylprednisolone; Paraparesis
6.  Spontaneous cervical epidural hematoma of idiopathic etiology: Case report and review of literature 
Context
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is a rare idiopathic condition that leads to acute onset of neurological deficits, which if not recognized early can have catastrophic consequences. The definition and pathophysiology of this condition remain controversial. High index of suspicion followed by T2-weighted gradient echo sequences are particularly useful in early diagnosis. Management consists of prompt surgical decompression of the hematoma though a recent trend is toward non-surgical treatment.
Findings
A 70-year-old man presented with acute onset neck pain with a radicular component and rapidly progressive quadriparesis. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a posteriorly located cervical extradural hematoma with cord compression that was promptly evacuated. Functional recovery to near normal function occurred within 24 hours of surgery.
Conclusion
SSEH in its true idiopathic form is a rare pathologic entity. Because of the high risk of poor outcome without treatment, SSEH should be a diagnostic possibility when presentation is even slightly suggestive. Prompt surgical evacuation of the hematoma leads to a favorable neurological outcome, whereas delay in treatment can be disastrous. The role of conservative management needs to be proven and should be tailored on an individual basis.
doi:10.1179/2045772312Y.0000000001
PMCID: PMC3304555  PMID: 22333537
Tetraparesis; Tetraplegia; Paralysis; Myelopathy; Laminectomy; Neurologic manifestations; Progressive; Spinal cord compression; Cervical; Hematoma; Idiopathic spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma
7.  Spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma during Factor Xa inhibitor treatment (Rivaroxaban) 
European Spine Journal  2011;21(Suppl 4):433-435.
We report on a 61-year-old female patient who developed a spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH) after being treated by rivaroxaban, a new agent for the prevention of venous thromboembolic events in orthopaedic surgery. Although the pathogenesis of SSEH is unclear, anticoagulant therapy is a known risk factor. The patient sustained a sudden onset of severe back pain in the thoracic spine, followed by paraplegia below T8, 2 days after proximal tibial osteotomy and rivaroxaban therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the whole spine demonstrated a ventral SSEH from C2 to T8. Whilst preparing for the emergency evacuation of the SSEH, the neurological symptoms recovered spontaneously 4 h after onset without surgery. After monitored bed rest for 48 h the MRI was repeated and the SSEH was no longer present. This rare condition of spinal cord compression and unusually rapid spontaneous recovery has not previously been reported following rivaroxaban therapy.
doi:10.1007/s00586-011-2003-3
PMCID: PMC3369027  PMID: 21874549
Rivaroxaban; Epidural haematoma; Compression; Spinal cord
8.  Hemiparesis Caused by Cervical Spontaneous Spinal Epidural Hematoma: A Report of 3 Cases 
Advances in Orthopedics  2011;2011:516382.
We report three cases of spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) with hemiparesis. The first patient was a 73-year-old woman who presented with left hemiparesis, neck pain, and left shoulder pain. A cervical MRI scan revealed a left posterolateral epidural hematoma at the C3–C6 level. The condition of the patient improved after laminectomy and evacuation of the epidural hematoma. The second patient was a 62-year-old man who presented with right hemiparesis and neck pain. A cervical MRI scan revealed a right posterolateral dominant epidural hematoma at the C6-T1 level. The condition of the patient improved after laminectomy and evacuation of the epidural hematoma. The third patient was a 60-year-old woman who presented with left hemiparesis and neck pain. A cervical MRI scan revealed a left posterolateral epidural hematoma at the C2–C4 level. The condition of the patient improved with conservative treatment. The classical clinical presentation of SSEH is acute onset of severe irradiating back pain followed by progression to paralysis, whereas SSEH with hemiparesis is less common. Our cases suggest that acute cervical spinal epidural hematoma should be considered as a differential diagnosis in patients presenting with clinical symptoms of sudden neck pain and radicular pain with progression to hemiparesis.
doi:10.4061/2011/516382
PMCID: PMC3170783  PMID: 21991415
9.  Surgical management of spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma 
European Spine Journal  2006;15(6):998-1004.
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is a rare disease entity; its causative factors and the factors determining the outcome are still controversial. We reviewed our clinical experiences and analyzed the various factors related to the outcome for SSEH. We investigated 14 patients (11 men and 3 women) who underwent hematoma removal for SSEH from April 1998 to August 2004. We reviewed age, gender, hypertension, anticoagulant use and the preoperative neurological status using the Japanese Orthopaedics Association score by examining medical records, operative records, pathology reports, and radiographies, retrospectively. We were checking for factors such as the degree of cord compression owing to hematoma and the extent and location of the hematoma. Most patients included in the study were in their twenties or fifties. Four hematoma were located in the cervical region (29%), three were cervicothoracic (21%), four were thoracic (29%) and three were in the lumbar (21%) region and also 12 were located at the dorsal aspect of the spinal cord. In all cases, the neurological outcome improved after the surgical operation. There was a statistically significant difference between the incomplete and complete neurological injury for the preoperative status (P<0.05). The neurological outcome was good in those cases that had their hematoma removed within 24 h (P<0.05). The patients with incomplete neurological injury who had a surgical operation performed within 12 h had an excellent surgical outcome (P<0.01). Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma was favorably treated by the means of a surgical operation. The favorable factors for SSEH operations were incomplete neurological injury at the time of the preoperative status and the short operative time interval.
doi:10.1007/s00586-005-0965-8
PMCID: PMC3489451  PMID: 16758110
Epidural hematoma; Cord injury; Operative time interval; Spine surgery
10.  Spontaneous Spinal Epidural Hematomas Associated With Acute Myocardial Infarction Treatment 
Korean Circulation Journal  2011;41(12):759-762.
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.
doi:10.4070/kcj.2011.41.12.759
PMCID: PMC3257462  PMID: 22259609
Acute myocardial infarction; Hematoma, epidural, spinal; Paraplegia; Thrombolytic therapy; Anticoagulants
11.  Spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma due to arteriovenous malformation in a child 
BMJ Case Reports  2011;2011:bcr0220113875.
Spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH) is a rare clinical entity, especially in infants, in whom only a few cases have been reported. In a paediatric emergency setting, SSEH should be considered as part of the differential diagnosis for acute extremity weakness and paraesthesia. Epidural vascular malformations are often suspected in these cases but have rarely been demonstrated. The authors report herein a case of SSEH in a 9-year-old boy arising from an epidural vascular malformation. He initially presented with sudden intense cervicodorsal pain followed by hypotonic lower extremities and progressive motor weakness, with no sensory change. The MRI showed an acute extradural haematoma extending from C7 to T4 with compression of the spinal cord. After submission to decompression surgery, he presented full recovery in 1 month. The histopathological analysis revealed a vascular malformation.
doi:10.1136/bcr.02.2011.3875
PMCID: PMC3094776  PMID: 22696725
12.  Spontaneous cervical epidural hematoma during pregnancy: case report and literature review 
European Spine Journal  2010;20(Suppl 2):176-179.
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) during pregnancy is rare and may result in permanent damage if not promptly treated. There were few studies discussing the etiology, presentation and treatment of SSEH during pregnancy. The authors describe a case of spontaneous cervical epidural hematoma during pregnancy, which was diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and managed with surgical evacuation. A retrospective review of a case of spontaneous epidural hematoma of spine during pregnancy was performed. The clinical features, diagnoses, treatments and outcomes of all cases were analyzed. Precise diagnosis without delay and rapid surgical treatment are essential for the management of SSEH during pregnancy.
doi:10.1007/s00586-010-1484-9
PMCID: PMC3111511  PMID: 20563824
Epidural hematoma; Spine; Spontaneous; Pregnancy
13.  Clinical Outcomes of Spontaneous Spinal Epidural Hematoma : A Comparative Study between Conservative and Surgical Treatment 
Objective
The incidence of spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is rare. Patients with SSEH, however, present disabling neurologic deficits. Clinical outcomes are variable among patients. To evaluate the adequate treatment method according to initial patients' neurological status and clinical outcome with comparison of variables affecting the clinical outcome.
Methods
We included 15 patients suffered from SSEH. Patients were divided into two groups by treatment method. Initial neurological status and clinical outcomes were assessed by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) impairment scale. Also sagittal hematoma location and length of involved segment was analyzed with magnetic resonance images. Other factors such as age, sex, premorbid medication and duration of hospital stay were reviewed with medical records. Nonparametric statistical analysis and subgroup analysis were performed to overcome small sample size.
Results
Among fifteen patients, ten patients underwent decompressive surgery, and remaining five were treated with conservative therapy. Patients showed no different initial neurologic status between treatment groups. Initial neurologic status was strongly associated with neurological recovery (p=0.030). Factors that did not seem to affect clinical outcomes included : age, sex, length of the involved spinal segment, sagittal location of hematoma, premorbid medication of antiplatelets or anticoagulants, and treatment methods.
Conclusion
For the management of SSEH, early decompressive surgery is usually recommended. However, conservative management can also be feasible in selective patients who present neurologic status as ASIA scale E or in whom early recovery of function has initiated with ASIA scale C or D.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2012.52.6.523
PMCID: PMC3550419  PMID: 23346323
Spinal epidural hematoma; Surgery; Conservative management; Outcome
14.  Pure cervical radiculopathy due to spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH): report of a case solved conservatively 
European Spine Journal  2005;15(Suppl 17):569-573.
Introduction: Spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH) is widely recognised throughout the literature as a cause of myelopathy, radicular compression being very rarely reported. Surgical management is almost always recommended, especially in the cases of spinal cord compression. Conservative treatment is reported as a curiosity and only in the case of spontaneous improvement. This report presents the particular case of a 64-year-old patient undergoing anticoagulant therapy that had a cervical radiculopathy due to a SSEH confirmed by MRI. The patient improved spontaneously and symptoms were solved with unconventional conservative treatment and without stopping the anticoagulant therapy. Conclusions: Spontaneous epidural haematoma must be kept in mind when patients undergoing anticoagulant therapy have a sudden onset of cervicobrachialgia. Even though most spinal surgeons advocate surgical treatment, a conservative approach may lead to a complete recovery and may be considered as a good option in the case of radicular involvement. Discontinuation of the anticoagulant therapy may not always be needed, especially when the clinical syndrome improves spontaneously.
doi:10.1007/s00586-005-0023-6
PMCID: PMC1602183  PMID: 16333682
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma; Cervicobrachialgia; Anticoagulant therapy; Conservative treatment
15.  Pure cervical radiculopathy due to spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH): report of a case solved conservatively 
European Spine Journal  2005;15(Suppl 5):569-573.
Introduction: Spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH) is widely recognised throughout the literature as a cause of myelopathy, radicular compression being very rarely reported. Surgical management is almost always recommended, especially in the cases of spinal cord compression. Conservative treatment is reported as a curiosity and only in the case of spontaneous improvement. This report presents the particular case of a 64-year-old patient undergoing anticoagulant therapy that had a cervical radiculopathy due to a SSEH confirmed by MRI. The patient improved spontaneously and symptoms were solved with unconventional conservative treatment and without stopping the anticoagulant therapy. Conclusions: Spontaneous epidural haematoma must be kept in mind when patients undergoing anticoagulant therapy have a sudden onset of cervicobrachialgia. Even though most spinal surgeons advocate surgical treatment, a conservative approach may lead to a complete recovery and may be considered as a good option in the case of radicular involvement. Discontinuation of the anticoagulant therapy may not always be needed, especially when the clinical syndrome improves spontaneously.
doi:10.1007/s00586-005-0023-6
PMCID: PMC1602183  PMID: 16333682
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma; Cervicobrachialgia; Anticoagulant therapy; Conservative treatment
16.  Chronic spontaneous cervicothoracic epidural hematoma in an 8-month-old infant 
Annals of Saudi Medicine  2011;31(3):301-304.
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.
doi:10.4103/0256-4947.75586
PMCID: PMC3119974  PMID: 21242640
17.  Spontaneous chronic epidural hematoma of the lumbar spine mimicking an extradural spine tumour 
European Spine Journal  2012;22(Suppl 3):337-340.
Purpose
Spontaneous chronic epidural hematomas are extremely rare and can be extremely challenging to diagnose and differentiate. The clinical findings, computed tomographic scan and magnetic resonance imaging does not always enough to complete differentiate this condition. Our purpose is to report a case of a spontaneous chronic epidural hematoma presenting as an extradural mass leading to compressive radicular symptoms with images of bony scalloping which are sparsely reported in the literature.
Methods
We describe a 61-year-old woman who was evaluated after 18-month history of pain, disestesias and mild weakness in both lower extremities with significant radicular symptoms on the right side associated to neurogenic claudication.
Results
CT scans revealed a nodular image of soft tissue density located in the right anterolateral epidural space at the L4–L5 level demonstrating resorption of the bony margins. MRI studies revealed a round mass in the vertebral canal displacing the dural sac and scalloping the posterior wall of the L4 vertebral body. Diagnosis was established between a degenerative cyst versus an atypical neurinoma. Surgical findings demonstrated an isolated well-formed chronic hematoma.
Conclusion
Spontaneous chronic epidural hematomas are rare, even more when they produce scalloping of bony structures becoming a diagnostic challenge. Therefore they should be always considered as a differential diagnosis in patients with extradural chronic compressions taking into account that also chronic epidural hematomas can cause bone involvement.
doi:10.1007/s00586-012-2402-0
PMCID: PMC3641257  PMID: 22718047
Tumour; Spine, epidural; Hematoma
18.  Spinal Epidural Hematoma after Pain Control Procedure 
Spinal epidural hematoma is a rare complication associated with pain control procedures such as facet block, acupuncture, epidural injection, etc. Although it is an uncommon cause of acute myelopathy, and it may require surgical evacuation. We report four patients with epidural hematoma developed after pain control procedures. Two procedures were facet joint blocks and the others were epidural blocks. Pain was the predominant initial symptom in these patients while two patients presented with post-procedural neurological deficits. Surgical evacuation of the hematoma was performed in two patients while in remaining two patients, surgery was initially recommended but not performed since symptoms were progressively improved. Three patients showed near complete recovery except for one patient who recovered with residual deficits. Although, spinal epidural hematoma is a rare condition, it can lead to serious complications like spinal cord compression. Therefore, it is important to be cautious while performing spinal pain control procedure to avoid such complications. Surgical treatment is an effective option to resolve the spinal epidural hematoma.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2010.48.3.281
PMCID: PMC2966734  PMID: 21082060
Spinal epidural hematoma; Pain control procedure; Surgical evacuation
19.  Early postoperative MRI in detecting hematoma and dural compression after lumbar spinal decompression: prospective study of asymptomatic patients in comparison to patients requiring surgical revision 
European Spine Journal  2010;19(12):2216-2222.
Early postoperative MRI after spinal surgery is difficult to interpret because of confounding postoperative mass effects and frequent occurrence of epidural hematomas. Purpose of this prospective study is to evaluate prevalence, extent and significance of hematoma in the first postoperative week in asymptomatic patients after decompression for lumbar stenosis and to determine the degree of clinically significant dura compression by comparing with the patients with postoperative symptoms. MRI was performed in 30 asymptomatic patients (47 levels) in the first week after lumbar spine decompression for degenerative stenosis. Eleven patients requiring surgical revision (16 levels) for symptomatic early postoperative hematoma were used for comparison. In both groups the cross-sectional area of the maximum dural compression (bony stenosis and dural sac expansion) was measured preoperatively and postoperatively by an experienced radiologist. Epidural hematoma was seen in 42.5% in asymptomatic patients (20/47 levels). The median area of postoperative hematoma at the operated level was 176 mm2 in asymptomatic patients and 365 mm2 in symptomatic patients. The median cross-sectional area of the dural sac at the operated level was 128.5 and 0 mm2 in asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, respectively, at the site of maximal compression. In the symptomatic group 75% of the patients had a maximal postoperative dural sac area of 58.5 mm2 or less, whereas in the asymptomatic group 75% of patients with epidural hematoma had an area of 75 mm2 or more. The size of hematoma and the degree of dural sac compression were significantly larger in patients with symptoms needing surgical revision. Dural sac area of less than 75 mm2 in early postoperative MRI was found to be the threshold for clinical significance.
doi:10.1007/s00586-010-1483-x
PMCID: PMC2997206  PMID: 20556438
Epidural hematoma; Early postoperative MRI; Spinal stenosis; Neural compression
20.  Fatal outcome after insufficient spine fixation for pyogenic thoracic spondylodiscitis: an imperative for 360° fusion of the infected spine 
Background
Pyogenic spondylodiscitis represents a potentially life-threatening condition. Due to the low incidence, evidence-based surgical recommendations in the literature are equivocal, and the treatment modalities remain controversial.
Case presentation
A 59 year-old patient presented with a history of thoracic spondylodiscitis resistant to antibiotic treatment for 6 weeks, progressive severe back pain, and a new onset of bilateral lower extremity weakness. Clinically, the patient showed a deteriorating spastic paraparesis of her lower extremities. An emergent MRI revealed a kyphotic wedge compression fracture at T7/T8 with significant spinal cord compression, paravertebral and epidural abscess, and signs of myelopathy. The patient underwent surgical debridement with stabilization of the anterior column from T6–T9 using an expandable titanium cage, autologous bone graft, and an anterolateral locking plate. The patient recovered well under adjunctive antibiotic treatment. She presented again to the emergency department 6 months later, secondary to a repeat fall, with acute paraplegia of the lower extremities and radiographic evidence of failure of fixation of the anterior T-spine. She underwent antero-posterior revision fixation with hardware removal, correction of kyphotic malunion, evacuation of a recurrent epidural abscess, decompression of the spinal canal, and 360° fusion from T2–T11. Despite the successful salvage procedure, the patient deteriorated in the postoperative phase, when she developed multiple complications including pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, bacterial meningitis, abdominal compartment syndrome, followed by septic shock with multiple organ failure and a lethal outcome within two weeks after revision surgery.
Conclusion
This catastrophic example of a lethal outcome secondary to failure of anterior column fixation for pyogenic thoracic spondylodiscitis underlines the notion that surgical strategies for the infected spine must be aimed at achieving absolute stability by a 360° fusion. This aggressive – albeit controversial – concept allows for an adequate infection control by adjunctive antibiotics and reduces the imminent risk of a secondary loss of fixation due to compromises in initial fixation techniques.
doi:10.1186/1754-9493-3-4
PMCID: PMC2654872  PMID: 19243602
21.  Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma with hemiparesis mimicking acute cerebral infarction: Two case reports 
Context
Acute hemiparesis is a common initial presentation of ischemic stroke. Although hemiparesis due to spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is an uncommon symptom, a few cases have been reported and misdiagnosed as cerebral infarction.
Design
Case reports of SSEH with acute hemiparesis.
Findings
In these two cases, acute stroke was suspected initially and administration of intravenous alteplase therapy was considered. In one case, the presentation was neck pain and in the other case, it was Lhermitte's sign; brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography were negative for signs of ischemic infarction, hemorrhage, or arterial dissection. Cervical MRI was performed and demonstrated SSEH.
Conclusion
Clinicians who perform intravenous thrombolytic treatment with alteplase need to be aware of this possible contraindication.
doi:10.1179/2045772312Y.0000000014
PMCID: PMC3425883  PMID: 22925753
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma; Hemiparesis; Tetraparesis; Lhermitte's sign; Cerebral infarction; Intravenous thrombolytic treatment; Magnetic resonance imaging; Computerized tomography; Alteplase
22.  Postoperative epidural hematoma contributes to delayed upper cord tethering after decompression of Chiari malformation type I 
Surgical Neurology International  2014;5(Suppl 4):S278-S281.
Background:
Symptomatic arachnoiditis after posterior fossa surgical procedures such as decompression of Chiari malformation is a possible complication. Clinical presentation is generally insidious and delayed by months or years. It causes disturbances in the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid and enlargement of a syrinx cavity in the upper spinal cord. Surgical de-tethering has favorable results with progressive collapse of the syrinx and relief of the associated symptoms.
Case Description:
A 30-year-old male with Chiari malformation type I was treated by performing posterior fossa bone decompression, dura opening and closure with a suturable bovine pericardium dural graft. Postoperative period was uneventful until the fifth day in which the patient suffered intense headache and progressive loose of consciousness caused by an acute posterior fossa epidural hematoma. It was quickly removed with complete clinical recovering. One year later, the patient experienced progressive worsened of his symptoms. Upper spinal cord tethering was diagnosed and a new surgery for debridement was required.
Conclusions:
The epidural hematoma compressing the dural graft against the neural structures contributes to the upper spinal cord tethering and represents a nondescribed cause of postoperative fibrosis, adhesion formation, and subsequent recurrent hindbrain compression.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.139384
PMCID: PMC4163907  PMID: 25225620
Arachnoiditis; arnold-chiary malformation; dural graft; posterior fossa; tethering
23.  Postoperative spinal epidural hematoma resulting in cauda equina syndrome: a case report and review of the literature 
Cases Journal  2009;2:8584.
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.
doi:10.4076/1757-1626-2-8584
PMCID: PMC2740261  PMID: 19830087
24.  Misdiagnosis of spontaneous cervical epidural haemorrhage 
European Spine Journal  2008;18(Suppl 2):210-212.
Spontaneous spinal epidural haemorrhage is a rare condition. The initial clinical manifestations are variable. Nonetheless, most spinal cord lesions result in paraparesis or quadriparesis, but not hemi-paresis, if motor function is involved. We report on a 69-year-old man who presented initially with right-side limb weakness. He was initially misdiagnosed at emergency room with a cerebral stroke and treated inappropriately with heparin. One day after admission, correct diagnosis of acute spinal epidural haematoma was based on the repeated neurological examination and cervical magnetic resonance imaging study. The patient underwent emergency surgical decompression and hematoma removal. The pathogenesis of the haematoma could have been due to hypertension, increased abdominal pressure and anticoagulant therapy. We emphasize that patients with hemi-paresis on initial presentation could have an acute spinal epidural haemorrhage. We also draw the misdiagnosis to the attention of the reader because early recognition of spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma is very important for prompt and appropriate treatment to improve the overall prognosis.
doi:10.1007/s00586-008-0819-2
PMCID: PMC2899547  PMID: 19005691
Spontaneous spinal epidural haemorrhage; Hemi-paresis; Cerebrovascular disease
25.  Principles of management of osteometabolic disorders affecting the aging spine 
European Spine Journal  2003;12(Suppl 2):S113-S131.
Osteoporosis is the most common contributing factor of spinal fractures, which characteristically are not generally known to produce spinal cord compression symptoms. Recently, an increasing number of medical reports have implicated osteoporotic fractures as a cause of serious neurological deficit and painful disabling spinal deformities. This has been corroborated by the present authors as well. These complications are only amenable to surgical management, requiring instrumentation. Instrumenting an osteoporotic spine, although a challenging task, can be accomplished if certain guidelines for surgical techniques are respected. Neurological deficits respond equally well to an anterior or posterior decompression, provided this is coupled with multisegmental fixation of the construct. With the steady increase in the elderly population, it is anticipated that the spine surgeon will face serious complications of osteoporotic spines more frequently. With regard to surgery, however, excellent correction of deformities can be achieved, by combining anterior and posterior approaches. Paget's disease of bone (PD) is a non-hormonal osteometabolic disorder and the spine is the second most commonly affected site. About one-third of patients with spinal involvement exhibit symptoms of clinical stenosis. In only 12–24% of patients with PD of the spine is back pain attributed solely to PD, while in the majority of patients, back pain is either arthritic in nature or a combination of a pagetic process and coexisting arthritis. In this context, one must be certain before attributing low back pain to PD exclusively, and antipagetic medical treatment alone may be ineffective. Neural element dysfunction may be attributed to compressive myelopathy by pagetic bone overgrowth, pagetic intraspinal soft tissue overgrowth, ossification of epidural fat, platybasia, spontaneous bleeding, sarcomatous degeneration and vertebral fracture or subluxation. Neural dysfunction can also result from spinal ischemia when blood is diverted by the so-called "arterial steal syndrome". Because the effectiveness of pharmacologic treatment for pagetic spinal stenosis has been clearly demonstrated, surgical decompression should only be instituted after failure of antipagetic medical treatment. Surgery is indicated as a primary treatment when neural compression is secondary to pathologic fractures, dislocations, spontaneous epidural hematoma, syringomyelia, platybasia, or sarcomatous transformation. Five classes of drugs are available for the treatment of PD. Bisphosphonates are the most popular antipagetic drug and several forms have been investigated.
doi:10.1007/s00586-003-0600-5
PMCID: PMC3591829  PMID: 14505119
Osteoporosis; Fractures; Neurological deficit; Deformity; Paget's disease; Back pain; Spinal stenosis; Myelopathy; Treatment

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