Spinal Epidural Hematoma

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Abdulaziz Al-Mutair, BHSc, MBChB, FRCSC and Drew A. Bednar, MD, FRCSC J Am Acad Orthop Surg, Vol 18, No 8, August 2010 Spinal epidural hematoma is a rare condition that usually presents with acute, severe pain at the location of the hemorrhage, with radiation to the extremities. It can rapidly develop to include progressive and severe neurologic deficit. The pathophysiology often remains unclear. However, epidural hematoma in the lumbar spine is best described as the result of internal rupture of the Batson vertebral venous plexus. Clinical evaluation of pain control and neurologic deficit is the most important tool in early diagnosis. Currently, MRI is the diagnostic method of choice. Regardless of the setting, symptomatic spinal epidural hematoma is typically managed with urgent surgical decompression of the spinal canal.

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