Spinal cord injury caused by direct damage by local anaesthetic infiltration needle

Br J Anaesth. 2001 Sep;87(3):512-5. doi: 10.1093/bja/87.3.512.


We describe a case of spinal cord injury caused by direct trauma from a local anaesthetic infiltration needle. During local anaesthetic infiltration before placement of an epidural catheter, the patient suddenly rolled over onto her back, causing the infiltrating needle to advance all the way to its hub. She immediately showed signs of spinal cord injury, confirmed by MRI scan. However, her neurological status gradually improved, and on discharge she was able to walk, with a sensory deficit localized to her left foot.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, Epidural
  • Anesthesia, Local / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Needlestick Injuries / etiology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / etiology*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae