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Background and Aims Cancer pain is most of the times relieved by pharmacological treatment. When pharmacological treatment is not sufficient, interventional pain procedures are considered. Here we present a case complicated by epidural hematoma.
Methods 58 years old female patient with stage 4 metastatic colon and urethelial carcinoma was referred to our clinic for hip and leg pain. She had multiple bone metastasis. Medical treatment was not enough, so transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) and lumbar sympathectomy was offered. The needle was fluoroscopically aimed for left L2 TFESI through the ‘safe’ triangle. Needle insertion happened to be intravascular with spontaneous return of blood. It was decided not to proceed further with the injection. Other interventions were performed uneventfully.
Results 12 hours later, the patient experienced left-sided sensorimotor loss. Left lower extremity examination revealed 0/5 motor functions of left hip and knee extension and flexion with hypoesthesia from T10 to L2 dermatome were noted. Sensorimotor function of the right lower extremities were normal. Urgent thoracolumbar MRI revealed left sided epidural hematoma extending from T8 to L2 (figure 1). Emergent epidural hematoma decompression surgery was offered, which she declined due to her comorbidities.
Conclusions Although lumbar TFESI was found to be safe, we experienced an epidural hematoma, which we believe was because the ‘safe’ triangle approach was chosen, where blood vessels lie. To our knowledge, our case is the first one to report unilateral paresis following a massive epidural hematoma. We believe, Kambin’s triangle approach may prevent from, a rare but debilitating complication, epidural hematoma.
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