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Paraplegia After Intracord Injection During Attempted Epidural Steroid Injection in an Awake-Patient

Tripathi, Mukesh MD, MAMS*; Nath, S S. MD*; Gupta, Rakesh K. MD

doi: 10.1213/01.ANE.0000175765.76237.0A
Regional Anesthesia: Case Report

Epidural steroid injection is recommended in patients with back ache from spinal and radicular pain or pain suggestive of radiculopathy. During needle placement and injections, clinicians often rely on the patient’s complaint of paresthesia or shooting pain along the nerve root, dura, or cord in case a needle pierces these areas. We report the accidental intracord injection of steroid solution during epidural block using fluoroscopy in a conscious patient, which caused paraplegia. This case suggests failure of undue reliance on a patient reporting pain in the vicinity of needle puncturing the spinal cord structures.

IMPLICATIONS: Intracord injection of triamcinolone acetate and local anesthetic, resulting in permanent paraplegia, may occur in conscious patients.

*Department of Anesthesiology, †Department of Radiodiagnosis, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India

Accepted for publication February 22, 2005.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Mukesh Tripathi, MD, MAMS, Department of Anaesthesiology Type IV-21, SGPGIMS Campus Rae Bareilly Road, Lucknow-226014 India. Address e-mail to

© 2005 International Anesthesia Research Society