Study design: Case report of a 64-year-old man with psoas abscesses, epidural abscess and spondylitis after acupuncture.
Objective: To report a case of paraplegia caused by spinal infection after acupuncture.
Setting: Seoul, Korea.
Case report: A 64-year-old man came to an emergency room because of severe back pain. At 3 days prior to visit, the patient received acupuncture therapy to the low back with a needle about 10 cm in length because of back pain. Pain was aggravated gradually for 3 days. Escherichia coli sepsis developed with altered mentality during admission. At hospital day 9, he regained his consciousness and was found to have paraplegia. Abdominal computerized tomography (CT) and lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed abscesses of bilateral psoas muscles and spondylitis with epidural abscess. After conservative management with intravenous administration of antibiotics, infection was controlled but the patient remained paraplegic (ASIA scale C L1 level) without neurological recovery.
Conclusion: Paraplegia might result from complications of an acupuncture therapy.