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Spine J. 2012 Nov;12(11):e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2012.10.004. Epub 2012 Nov 4.

Epidural abscess and cauda equina syndrome after percutaneous intradiscal therapy in degenerative lumbar disc disease.

Author information

1
The Virginia Spine Institute, 1831 Wiehle Ave., Reston, VA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND CONTEXT:

Percutaneous intradiscal therapies are gaining popularity as a regenerative treatment option for spinal disc degeneration. The risks, benefits, and possible complications associated with such procedures have been poorly defined. As these procedures are performed with increasing frequency, the likelihood that clinicians will be faced with significant complications also increases.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study is to describe a significant complication of a percutaneous intradiscal bone marrow and adipose tissue transplantation for symptomatic lumbar disc degeneration.

STUDY DESIGN:

The study design is a case report.

METHODS:

Two weeks after an injection of adipose cells, bone marrow aspirate and plasma into his L3-L4 and L5-S1 lumbar discs, a 64-year-old patient presented to the emergency room with cauda equina syndrome, fever, and back pain. Magnetic resonance imaging diagnosed L3-L4 disc extrusion, discitis with osteomyelitis, and epidural abscess, resulting in emergency decompressive surgery. An epidural abscess was drained, extruded disc material was removed, and cultures obtained. Five days later, once afebrile on antibiotics, he underwent a definitive interbody arthrodesis and stabilization.

RESULTS:

Cauda equina syndrome resolved, osteomyelitis (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis) was treated, and instrumented arthrodesis stabilized the involved segment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Complications associated with the intradiscal injection of agents, such as stem cells, fibrin glue, adipose tissue, or bone marrow, have been poorly defined. Given the nature of the degenerating disc, serious adverse events, including discitis, osteomyelitis, and extrusion of disc contents, may occur.

PMID:
23131581
DOI:
10.1016/j.spinee.2012.10.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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