A Good Short-term Outcome in Delayed Decompression of Cauda Equina Syndrome in Klebsiella pneumoniae Spinal Epidural Abscess: A Case Report
Spinal epidural abscess is a severe, generally pyogenic, infection of the epidural space of spinal cord or cauda equina. The swelling caused by the abscess leads to compression or vascular disruption of neurological structures that requires urgent surgical decompression to avoid significant permanent disability. We share a rare case of Klebsiella pneumoniae spinal epidural abscess secondary to haematogenous spread of previous lung infection that presented late at our centre with cauda equina syndrome that showed good short-term outcome in delayed decompression. A 50-year old female presented with one-week history of persistent low back pain with progressively worsening bilateral lower limb weakness for seven days and urinary retention associated with saddle anesthesia of 2-day duration. Magnetic resonance imaging with contrast of the lumbo-sacral region showed an intramuscular collection of abscess at left gluteus maximus and left multifidus muscle with a L3-L5 posteriorly placed extradural lesion enhancing peripherally on contrast, suggestive of epidural abscess that compressed the cauda equina. The pus was drained using the posterior lumbar approach. Tissue and pus culture revealed Klebsiella pneumoniae, suggestive of bacterial infection. The patient made immediate improvement of muscle power over bilateral lower limbs postoperative followed by ability to control micturition and defecation the 4th post-operative day. A good short-term outcome in delayed decompression of cauda equine syndrome is extremely rare. Aggressive surgical decompression combined with antibiotic therapy led to good short-term outcome in this patient despite delayed decompression of more than 48 hours.
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