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Spine Surgery Guide

Epidural abscess Treatment

Signs and tests

The health care provider will perform an exam to look for a loss of functions such as movement or sensation. Tests may include:
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Sample of the abscess to determine what is causing the infection


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.
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Expectations (prognosis):

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.

  • Brain abscess
  • Chronic back pain
  • Meningitis
  • Permanent brain and nervous system damage (such as brain damage, sensory changes, or paralysis) if diagnosis and treatment are delayed
  • Return of infection (common even if the disorder is treated)
  • Spread of infection into the bones of the spine or skull (osteomyelitis)


Treatment of certain infections, such as ear infections, sinusitis, and bloodstream infections, may decrease the risk of an epidural abscess. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent complications.
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This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.
Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions or back problem. We Care Health Services does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the site is conditional upon your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions is a member of the medical tourism information network

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