Background: Spontaneous epidural hematoma arising from the ligamentum flavum is a rare cause of acute spinal cord compression. There are only four reports in the cervical spine literature, and all were managed with surgery. Here, we describe an acute case of a spontaneous epidural hematoma arising from the ligamentum flavum in the cervical spine successfully managed without surgery.
Case description: A 69-year-old woman with a cervical spine epidural hematoma contained within the ligamentum flavum presented with paroxysmal neck pain and stiffness without a history of trauma. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a posterolateral epidural hematoma contained within the ligamentum flavum. As the patient was intact, she was managed conservatively with cervical orthosis. Three months later, she was symptom-free, and the hematoma resolved on the follow-up MRI study.
Conclusion: Spontaneous epidural hematoma arising from ligamentum flavum is a rare cause of spinal cord compression. Previous reports have described success with surgical decompression. However, initial observation and conservative management may be successful as illustrated in this case.
Keywords: Cervical spine; epidural hematoma; ligamentum flavum.
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