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Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society > Volume 36(2); 2004 > Article
Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society 2004;36(2): 130-134.
Awareness for Serious Spinal Complications Predicted after Acupuncture Procedures for Pain Control.
Won Jin Hong, Sang Gu Lee, Chul Wan Park, Woo Kyung Kim, Chan Jong Yoo
Department of Neurosurgery, Gachon Medical School, Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Korea. samddal@gachon.ac.kr
Acupuncture has been practiced to treat back pain in the oriental culture for several centuries and still occupies an integral part of traditional oriental medicine. Nowadays, it also comprises one aspect of the so-called alternative medicine, being increasingly practiced in western conturies. However, it has been sometimes practiced less carefully without awareness for adverse effects after acupuncture treatment. This study is performed to stress the concern about the serious complications possibly arising after acupuncture.
The medical records and radiological datas of 5 patients who suffered from serious complications after acupuncture from 1999 to 2002, were retrospectively reviewed. All 5 patients has treated with acupuncture for pain control before the admission. They did not have any medical problems such as diabetes mellitus, liver diseases, and hematologic problems.
Epidural abscess was found in 4 patients and subdural hemorrhage in 1 patient. Among 4 patients with epidural abscess, 3 patients without myelitis had good recovery of neurologic symptoms. However, one patient who was combined with myelitis had poor outcome. One patient who was diagnosed subdural hemorrhage was improved with conservative treatment.
Acupuncture has been and is being practiced extensively in medical field. However, it has been sometimes abused recklessly for the pain control related with spine, that might result in serious complications such as epidural abscess or subdural hemorrhage as in our cases. These results should raise concern about serious complications that may be developed in practicing the acupuncture.
Key Words: Acupuncture; Serious complication; Infection; Epidural abscess
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