The spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH) is a rarity, but the severe and permanent motor disability underlines its importance. From 1957 seven cases of SSEH have been diagnosed and operated on in the National Institute of Neurosurgery, Budapest. These cases are analysed and discussed. The clinical picture began with local pain of the spine and radicular signs but some hours or days later paraparesis or paraplegia and incontinence developed. In the discussed cases the neurological deficit progressed to complete para- or tetraplegia in 5 cases. Only 2 patients had partial spinal transverse lesions on admission. All patients underwent myelography to detect the spinal space occupying lesion and were operated on soon. Three patients recovered completely, 2 remained partly and 2 totally paralysed. The outcome depended mainly on the timing of neurological deficiency. If the neurological signs existed less than 8 hours the patients recovered completely or fairly well while the prognosis was poor if the transverse lesion persisted longer than 24 hours. The authors stress the importance of correct and fast decisions at the first medical examination for the outcome of this disease, because only immediate transfer to a neurosurgical department gives a chance of good recovery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology