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Transverse myelitis following spinal anesthesia

Author(s): Jha Sanjeev | Kumar Rajesh

Journal: Neurology India
ISSN 0028-3886

Volume: 54;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 425;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Hemorrhagic myelitis | spinal anesthesia | spinal cord injury | transverse myelitis

Spinal anesthesia is widely used during surgical procedures. It is generally safe and the frequency of severe, permanent neurological complications associated with it has been reported to be extremely low. We report a patient, who developed paraplegia following spinal anesthesia. A 29-year-old male was referred with acute, flaccid, sensory motor paraplegia, with bladder and bowel involvement. He developed this immediately after an operation for inguinal hernia under spinal anesthesia. Spinal magnetic resonance imaging revealed hemorrhagic myelitis in the conus at D12. He was referred after he did not respond to intravenous methylprednisolone for 10 days. This case brings up the difficulty encountered in determination of the interspace used for spinal anesthesia and the potential for traumatic injury to the spinal cord. It also demonstrates the tragic outcome after a clinician violates some important, standard and established guidelines.
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