Abscess - epidural; Spinal abscess
The goal of treatment is to cure the infection and reduce the risk of permanent damage. Treatment usually includes antibiotics and surgery. In rare cases, antibiotics alone are used.
Antibiotics are usually given through a vein (IV) for at least 4 - 6 weeks. However, some people may need to take them for a longer time, depending on the type of bacteria and severity of the disease.
Surgery is usually needed to drain or remove the abscess. In addition, surgery is often needed to reduce pressure on the spinal cord or brain, to prevent further loss of function.
Early diagnosis and treatment greatly improve the chance of a good outcome. Once weakness, paralysis, or sensation changes occur, the chances of recovering lost function are reduced. Permanent nervous system damage or death may occur.
Call your health care provider if you have:
An epidural abscess is a medical emergency.
Nath A. Brain abscess and parameningeal infections. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 438.
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