Epidural Abscess Due to Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial
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Spinal cord stimulation is increasingly utilized as a treatment to alleviate low back pain and lumbar radiculopathy, particularly in patients with failed back surgery syndrome. We present an illustrative case of early, rapidly progressive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection after a brief stimulator trial lead implantation. Operators should maintain a high level of suspicion for deep infection, including epidural abscess, even when only minor symptoms and signs are present. Because of the poor ability to clear infections in the presence of a retained foreign body, the device must be explanted immediately. Subsequent surgical intervention, however, may nevertheless still be needed. While a variety of bacteria may cause epidural abscess, methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, and increasingly, MRSA and community-associated MRSA, are the most likely etiologic organisms.
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