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Thread: epidural abcess induced by trauma t4-t9

  1. #1

    epidural abcess induced by trauma t4-t9

    Hello everyone!

    I am just starting to get familiar with this site and i'm so glad that I found it. My name is Sara and I am 25 years old. I am/was an EMT and a 911 dispatcher and I also coach at the high school. On October 11th 2010 I was lifewatched to Wichita,KS with paralysis from the wait down,an extremely high fever, and dehydration. An MRI showed an epidural abcess ranging from m t4-t9 that was compressing my spinal cord. They did an emergency decompression laminectomy to relieve the pressure. The abcess was a staph infection caused by a recent back trauma I suffered while working on the ambulance. I am now on the road to recovery. I was in the hospital for a month and a half but in that time I also learned exactly what i'm made of. I have had ups and downs since the surgery but the pain is much better. The muscle cramps and spasms; however, are not. My legs hurt all the time and they swell but I guess I am just glad to feel them at all. The movement in my legs is amazing but the feeling isn't back yet. I am hoping for the best I work out every day and I am committed to making a full recovery!!! "Glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall"

  2. #2
    Welcome to our forums! Am I correct assuming that you did not get sent to a specialty SCI rehabilitation inpatient program? Is this considered a worker's comp injury (it should be)?? Do you have a decent case manager? Do you have any bowel/bladder/sexual functioning effects of your injury? What meds are you on for your neuropathic pain? Neurontin can sometimes cause worse than normal dependent edema.

    Please stay involved with our community and keep us updated on your progress.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Hello SaraBeara91, thank you for this introduction and welcome to the forum! I wish you all the best in your recovery.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Welcome to our forums! Am I correct assuming that you did not get sent to a specialty SCI rehabilitation inpatient program? Is this considered a worker's comp injury (it should be)?? Do you have a decent case manager? Do you have any bowel/bladder/sexual functioning effects of your injury? What meds are you on for your neuropathic pain? Neurontin can sometimes cause worse than normal dependent edema.

    Please stay involved with our community and keep us updated on your progress.

    (KLD)
    No, I didn't get sent to an SCI rehab center. I went to an inpatient rehab but they mostly deal with strokes mainly because of the area we live in I assume. The therapists I worked with had never seen anything quite like me but they did a phenomenal job anyway.
    I didn't file the injury under workman's comp because the doctors I had said it couldn't be positively linked to the injury sustained while working on the ambulance. As far as bladder/bowel/sexual effects... after surgery I still couldn't feel anything so I kept the catheter for another 2 1/2 weeks and I was still incontinent. Once I got to the inpatient rehab they did put me on a bowel/bladder program. Once they took the catheter out I was still unable to urinate on my own so we had to straight cath for awhile and a urologist put me on flomax (which REALLY works by the way). It took a little over two months but I now do not have to cath at all and my bowels are pretty much under control. They are still minorly irregular but that could be due to the antibiotics. As far as sexual activity, it has returned to normal and I haven't had any problems with that or my menstrul cycle.

    Meds: I was recently taken off of a very high dose of coumadin 15mg/ day (because of the 3 blood clots that my picc line caused) I am taking Dicloxcillian (2000 mg/day) to make sure that the infection is gone and stays gone. I take loratab for pain Baclofen for the muscle cramps and spasms. Other than that I only take zofram for my stomach because the antibiotic is pretty rough. I haven't been perscribed any neurontin or anything like that.
    I also don't have a case manager and they have recently advised me that they can no longer justify seeing me in physical therapy because I am not showing any more huge improvements. I go to the local gym at least 3-4 times a week on my own.

  5. #5
    Personally, I would be getting a good worker's comp attorney and fighting to get this covered by WC. It sounds pretty clear that your initial infection was the proximate cause of your abscess. Spinal cord abscesses don't come about on their own...they travel from another source, and there are plenty of experts who could testify to this for you. You are getting screwed over by the system it sounds like, and doctors are NOT the experts on what should be or is covered under WC.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    Senior Member marycsm77's Avatar
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    Oooh Sara,

    KLD is right. I have a workers comp related injury. If the original injury (back trauma) was workers compensation, then the abscess would be considered a consequential injury to the original injury and therefore may be considered compensable. You should most definitely consult a workers comp attorney. Did you have a worker's comp attorney for the back trauma that you sustained on the ambulance? Just because the one md said this, doesn't mean jack. You would have plenty of md's who would say otherwise. If you didn't have an attorney from the original injury, it doesnt cost anything to consult one. The attorneys will not even take a case usually, if they don't think they can win it. The WC judge is the one who decides whether or not it is compensable. I think i have followed this story right, correct me if i'm wrong.

  7. #7
    I didn't have an attorney for the initial trauma. When I got hurt, I went to the hospital that same day right after the run. I saw a PA because there wasn't a doc available. He gave two shots a muscle relaxor and pain killer and sent me home. I saw the chiropractor after that. Workman's comp covered all of that and I never thought anything more about it. Then a month after all that BOOM I got airlifted and had emergency surgery. Once they said that it probably wasn't caused by the initial trauma I just let my regular insurance cover it. The ambulance service I work for is a volunteer base only so we only get paid volunteer wages and have no benefits. I can't be out any lost wages because I was strictly volunteer, right? I missed 5 months of work at my primary job but I had vacation and sick time to cover a good portion of it. I also had short term disability insurance that I got for 3 of those months.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Welcome Sara... Yes... KLD is right.. If you should have problems in future and they can can be related to this initial condition...care could be denied due to a pre-existing condition. If WC covers it... you can be covered for life for any future problems. Please think about contacting an attorney about this.

    Sieg

  9. #9
    Junior Member
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    I also had an epidural abscess

    Hi Everyone,

    I also had an epidural abscess, so Sara's posting caught my eye. This is my very first post, so I hope I'm doing it in the right place. As I said in my profile, I've owned and operated a private birth doula practice for many years. I've been paralyzed since April of 2009, but my story differs and is very unusual. I've never heard a story like my own, so I'm hoping someone has.

    In 1992 I contracted primary viral encephalitis, while working in ICU at a hospital. I was in the hospital for 7 months, and suffered debilitating migraine headaches that lasted 17 years. I managed to work on and off for 17 years, started my practice 10 years ago - all while raising 5 kids. (I had the first 3 before, and 2 after). I had to stop working as a doula in April of 2008 due to the most extreme pain I've ever had in my life. I went into hospital by ambulance 4-5 times and was told that I had back strain. I was regularly seeing a pain specialist, neurologist, and family physician. As you can imagine, with all the trips to the ER - I was probably labeled a drug seeker. (Even though I had letters from all my Drs ordering pain meds) When I was finally diagnosed I needed 10 bags of blood and plasma, had to have 9 bones in my back removed - and have 15 inch rods, along with plates and screws to hold my back together. I was on IV antibiotics for a year, and started to notice that after about 4 months my headaches started to diminish. The headaches were obviously caused by the staph aureus infection. Over the years I kept getting staph aureus infections in my lungs, and had many staph aureus skin infections. My headaches are now gone, so it's a sad irony that it took me being paralyzed to figure out the problem.

    I also suffer from extreme stasticity and am having a Baclofen pump implanted on April 14th. I'm wanting more information on that too.

    Anyone who reads this, please feel free to post it anywhere. I'm hoping to connect with someone who has experienced a similar thing. Sorry to be so long winded, but it's kind of a complex story. Any help or suggestions would be great. Thanks.
    Last edited by ktv; 03-13-2011 at 01:01 AM.

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