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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 24(4); 2013 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2013;24(4): 459-463.
Cervical Epidural Hematoma Following a Facet Joint Nerve Block
Jae Hyung Choi, Young Soon Cho, Ho Jung Kim
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Korea. emer0717@schmc.ac.kr
Facet joint nerve blocks is the most commonly utilized interventions in managing chronic spinal pain. A fluoroscopically directed facet joint nerve block for pain management may result in a rare complication of spinal epidural hematoma causing acute myelopathy. Although this complication is well-known with epidural anesthesia (where it is usually seen with impaired hemostasis), there are surprisingly few case reports of epidural hematoma after a facet joint nerve block. We report here a case of a 58-year-old man, with no evidence of coagulopathy and not taking antiplatelet medication, having a sudden onset of acute cervical myelopathy from a large cervical epidural hematoma one hour after a facet joint nerve block. Following prompt surgical evacuation of the clot, the patient made a nearly complete recovery. Spinal epidural hematoma after spinal puncture is usually associated with impaired hemostasis. However, this case illustrates that it may occur in the absence of known risk factors. The delayed onset and the absence of risk factors have implications for the use of this procedure in chronic pain management.
Key words: Spinal epidural hematoma, Nerve block, Pain management
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