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Infection of Brindley sacral anterior root stimulator by Pseudomonas aeruginosa requiring removal of the implant: long-term deleterious effects on bowel and urinary bladder function in a spinal cord injury patient with tetraplegia: a case report

INTRODUCTION: We report infection of Brindley sacral anterior root stimulator in a spinal cord injury patient, who ultimately required removal of the implant. The consequences of failed implantation were severe constipation, and loss of reflex penile erection and bladder emptying. CASE PRESENTATION: A male patient, born in 1973, fell off the balcony while on holidays in Crete in 1993 and developed complete tetraplegia at C-5 level. In 1996, deafferentation of sacral nerve roots 2, 3 and 4 were carried out bilaterally. Brindley sacral anterior root stimulator was implanted. On eleventh post-operative day, blood stained fluid came out of sacral wound. Microbiology of exudates showed growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, sensitive to gentamicin. As discharge of serosanguinous fluid persisted, sacral wound was explored. In March 1997, induration and craggy swelling were noted at the site of receiver. There was discharge from the surgical wound in the back. Wound swab grew Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The receiver was taken out. Cables were retrieved and tunnelled in left flank. Laminectomy wound was left open. In May 1997, cables were removed from left flank through the laminectomy wound. Grommet was sliced down as much as possible without producing leak of cerebrospinal fluid. Histoacryl glue was used over the truncated grommet as a sealing agent. Microbiology of end of S-2 and S-3 cables showed growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which was sensitive to gentamicin. End of S-4 cable showed scanty growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella aerogenes. Review of this patient in January 1999 revealed presence of sinuses in dorsal wound exuding purulent material. The wound was explored; grommet and electrodes were removed. The consequences of failed implantation were severe constipation and loss of reflex penile erection and bladder emptying. This patient had to spend increasing amount of time for bowels management. Faecal incontinence limited his mobility. The problem with his bowels was affecting his confidence in doing anything, as the slightest movement could cause his bowels to work. The inconvenience and embarrassment of a bowel accident caused distress to the patient and to his mother. CONCLUSION: This case illustrates that bacterial infection is a major problem in spinal cord injury patients who undergo implantation of medical devices. Further, this case underlines the need for honest discussion with spinal cord injury patients about possible complications of implantation of sacral anterior root stimulator and long-term consequences of an unsuccessful operation

Keywords : blood,complications,Growth,injuries,Laminectomy,Male,microbiology,Movement,Pseudomonas aeruginosa,Reflex,Spinal Cord,Spinal Cord Injuries,Spinal Injuries,Time,Urinary Bladder,, Brindley,Sacral,Anterior,Root, spine zones

Date of Publication : 2009 Dec 21

Authors : Vaidyanathan S;Soni BM;Oo T;Hughes PL;Mansour P;Singh G;

Organisation : Spinal Injuries Unit, District General Hospital, Town Lane, Southport PR8 6PN, UK

Journal of Publication : Cases J

Pubmed Link : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20062610

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Infection of Brindley sacral anterior root stimulator by Pseudomonas aeruginosa requiring removal of the implant long-term deleterious effects on bowel and urinary bladder function in a spinal cord injury patient with tetraplegia a case report | Mri neck

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