Case Report

A Late Presentation of Epidural Hematoma After Epidural Cord Stimulation Surgery

by Özel Halit*, Meurant Virginie

Emergency Department, CHU Tivoli, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.

*Corresponding author: Özel Halit, Emergency Department, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.

Received Date: 01 May 2024

Accepted Date: 04 May 2024

Published Date: 07 May 2024

Citation: Halit O, Virginie M (2024) A late presentation of epidural hematoma after epidural cord stimulation surgery. Ann Case Report 9: 1789. https://doi.org/10.29011/2574-7754.101789

Abstract

Epidural hematoma is a rare complication that may occur after spinal cord stimulation surgery. Its incidence isn’t well known, and it typical arises in the immediate postoperative period. This case highlights the possibility of a delayed onset of this complication, even when magnetic resonance imaging does not reveal a hematoma. The history and physical examination are essential for the diagnosis and effective treatment of the patient.

Keywords: Spinal Cord Stimulation; Hematoma; Compression; Spinal Cord Injury

Case Report

A 76-years-old man visited the emergency department with a sudden onset of paraplegia and anesthesia of the lower limbs, along with a lower back pain for the past 2 days. He reported to wake up late night to use the bathroom and came back to his bed. One or two hours later, he noticed he could no longer move or feel his legs. There was no other complains, particularly no fever. He had undergone SCSS for failed back surgery syndrome approximately 2 weeks ago. He had a medical history of ischemic cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation, for which he was taking acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and edoxaban. At his arrival in the emergency department, his vital signs were within normal limits. The physical examination showed anesthesia below the level of 11th thoracic dermatome, associated with a plegia of the legs. A spinal cord magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed and showed signs of compression and possible injury of the spinal cord under the implanted stimulation material, without a visible hematoma (Figure 1). Considering the physical examination and MRI results, the patient underwent explorative surgery, revealing a hematoma under the epidural electrode, which was then drained. The follow-up after surgery was marked by a progressive sensory and motor recovery of the legs.

 

Figure 1: spinal cord MRI showing signs of compression under the electrode, without a visible hematoma.

Discussion

Epidural hematoma is a rare condition that may occur following SCSS. We reported here the case of a patient who developed symptomatic epidural hematoma 13 days after the procedure. To our knowledge, it is the only reported case with such a delayed onset. It is interesting to notice that the patient was taking edoxaban and ASA as part of his usual medication. Although these medications were discontinued before surgery and reintroduced after a recommended period, we should consider their role as contributing factors for a late onset hematoma. The spinal cord MRI demonstrated signs of compression but did not show the hematoma, later revealed during surgery. The management was guided by clinical examination and spinal cord MRI, allowing a rapid and adequate treatment, with a progressive recovery of the patient’s neurological functions.

Conclusion

Epidural hematoma is a rare condition with a poorly defined incidence, following SCSS [4]. Usually reported during the immediate postoperative period [5], we draw attention here to the fact that it can also occur later. The MRI, although revealing spinal cord injury, can fail to show the hematoma. The role of anticoagulant and antiplatelet agents as risk factors for late presentation remains to be defined. History, clinical examination, and MRI are essential for the efficient management of the patient.

Conflict of Interest: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

References

  1. Cameron T (2004) Safety and efficacy of spinal cord stimulation for the treatment of chronic pain: a 20-year literature review. Journal of Neurosurgery. Spine 100(3): 254 267.
  2. Mekhail N, Mathews M, Nageeb F, Guirguis M, Mekhail MN, et al. (2010). Retrospective Review of 707 Cases of Spinal Cord Stimulation: Indications and Complications. Pain Practice 11(2): 148 153.
  3. Kleiber J, Marlier B, Bannwarth M, Théret É, Peruzzi P, et al. (2016) Is spinal cord stimulation safe? A review of 13 years of implantations and complications. Revue Neurologique 172(11): 689 695.
  4. Bendersky D, Yampolsky C (2014). Is Spinal Cord Stimulation Safe? A Review of Its Complications. World Neurosurgery 82(6): 1359 1368.
  5. Levy RM, Henderson JM, Slavin KV, Simpson B, Barolat G, et al. (2011). Incidence and Avoidance of Neurologic Complications with Paddle Type Spinal Cord Stimulation Leads. Neuromodulation 14(5): 412 422.
  6. Cordonnier C (2022) Infarctus artériels médullaires : où en sommes-nous en 2022 ? Pratique Neurologique - FMC 13(1): 63 66.

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