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Lingering Effects of Epidural
Sep 4, 2006

my HIV+ partner recently had part of his lung removed (infected with crytococcus) and he had an epidural as part of the surgery and for a few days after the surgery to manage pain. The surgery was in the beginning of June and lately he's been weaning himself off the pain meds slowly. The problem he is experiencing now is he's haveing bad back pain. I've heard from some women who had epidurals for child birth and they have sometimes had back pain for up to a year. Is it commom to have lingering back problems from the epidural?

Response from Dr. Henry

Persistent pain after an epidural can happen to a significant minority of patients. That problem seems to be more common in HIV + persons in my experience. Sometimes there is a leak of spinal fluid at the puncture site that can contribute. An evaluation by a neurologist or anesthesiologist can be helpful for some patients. KH

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