Spontaneous spinal epidural hematomas: One case report and rehabilitation outcome

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Abstract

Rationale:

Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is a relatively rare but potentially disabling disease, and the classical presentation of it includes an acute onset of severe, sometimes radiating back or neck pain, followed by signs and symptoms of rapidly evolving nerve root or spinal cord compression.

Patient concerns:

Here, we report a 26-year-old female patient presented with weakness in bilateral lower extremities, progressing to intense paraplegia and anesthesia without recent medical history of trauma, infection, surgery, or drug use.

Diagnosis:

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of spinal cord was planned and a posterior epidural hematoma of the thoracic spine was observed.

Interventions:

A posterior decompression and hematoma evacuation was performed after diagnosis immediately. Early rehabilitation program of the specific kind spinal cord injury was formulated and implemented.

Outcomes:

The patient finally can handle basic living activities, such as completing wheelchair locomotion, transferring from bed to wheelchair independently after 3 months of rehabilitation.

Lessons:

SSEH is a rarely occurring case in emergency. Acute chest pain and paraplegia could be the initial presentation of acute spinal epidural hemorrhage, but the diagnosis of patient without classical manifestations is still a challenge for doctors. Early diagnosis, prompt decompression, and individualized rehabilitation program can improve the prognosis and outcome.

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