Transthoracic Approach to Epidural Abscess Decompression

Smith, Heather Renae
August 2010
International Student Journal of Nurse Anesthesia;Summer2010, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p14
Academic Journal
Case Study
Epidural abscesses are a rare but serious condition. The abscess may occur related to regional anesthesia techniques or occur spontaneously from vertebral osteomyelitis.1 Surgical decompression is often necessary to treat this condition, especially if it leads to spinal cord compression and neurological symptoms. A transthoracic approach is often necessary for anterior decompression of these abscesses with special neurological monitoring involving motor evoked potentials (MEPs) and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs). This complex spinal procedure may be further complicated when the patient is morbidly obese or has multiple co-morbidities.


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