Epidural Injection Results in Permanent Disability

This case takes place in Michigan and involves a 58-year-old man who presented to his primary care physician with complaints of vertigo and sinus pressure. He was treated for sinusitis and when it did not resolve after 2 months, he was sent to an ENT for further evaluation and care. While being treated for this, he had complaints of neck and shoulder pain. He was referred to a pain medicine specialist where he was given an epidural injection. A day after, he was unable to move his right hand and experienced significant numbness in his right side. An MRI demonstrated spinal cord edema and hemorrhage. He had aggressive physical therapy, but must permanently use a wheelchair and is unable to go back to work.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you perform epidural injections in your practice?
  • 2. How common is this complication for patients who have undergone this procedure?
  • 3. Have you ever published or lectured on this subject / issue?

Expert Witness Response E-006028

I am a pain medicine specialist who performs this procedure daily. This is a complication that never or rarely happens. With good procedural skills and expert use of fluoroscopy this should not happen.


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