Indexed on: 15 Dec '04Published on: 15 Dec '04Published in: Der Anaesthesist
Peridural anaesthesia is used to avoid operative, postoperative and chronic pain, especially in surgery, gynecology and urology. Complications have rarely been described but can entail serious local and systemic sequelae. Three cases with spondylitis and spondylodiscitis after peridural anaesthesia are presented. The failure to recognize the peridural catheter as the cause of vertebral pain led to therapeutic delay in two cases. The result of antimicrobial therapy and in two cases radical surgical treatment was complete recovery. The occurrence of spondylodiscitis after the use of peridural catheters is often a late manifestation of disseminated pathogens. The insidious progression of infection and non-specificity of clinical symptoms may lead to diagnostic delay. Awareness of the possibility of even delayed complications after the use of peridural anaesthesia is important.