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    Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are commonly observed in elderly people and can be treated by conservatively with minimal risk of complications in most cases. However, utilization of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) increases the risks of secondary hematoma even after insignificant trauma. The use of DOACs increased over the past decade because of their approval and recommendation for both stroke prevention in non-valvular atrial fibrillation and treatment of venous thromboembolism. It is well known that DOACs are safer anticoagulants than warfarin in terms of major and nonmajor bleeding; however, we noted an increase in the number of bleeding events associated with DOACs that required medical intervention. This report describes the first case of delayed lumbar plexus palsy due to DOAC-associated psoas hematoma after VCF to draw attention to potential risk of severe complication associated with this type of common and stable trauma. An 83-year-old man presented with his left inguinal pain and inability to ambulate after falling from standing position and was prescribed DOACs for chronic atrial fibrillation. Computed tomography angiography revealed a giant psoas hematoma arising from the ruptured segmental artery running around fractured L4 vertebra. Because of motor weakness of his lower limbs and expansion of psoas hematoma revealed by contrast computed tomography on day 8 of his hospital stay, angiography aimed for transcatheter arterial embolization was tried, but could not demonstrate any major active extravasation; therefore spontaneous hemostasis was expected with heparin replacement. On day 23 of his stay, hematoma turned to decrease, but dysarthria and motor weakness due to left side cerebral infarction occurred. His pain improved and bone healing was achieved about 2 months later from his admission, however the paralysis of the left lower limb and aftereffects of cerebral infarction remained after 1 year. In patients using DOACs with multiple risk factors, close attention must be taken in vertebral injury even if the fracture itself is a stable-type such as VCF, because segmental artery injury may cause massive psoas hematoma followed by lumbar plexus palsy and other complications.


    Chikako Ishii, Miki Komatsu, Kota Suda, Masahiko Takahata, Satoko Matsumoto Harmon, Masahiro Ota, Takamasa Watanabe, Mitsuru Asukai, Norimasa Iwasaki, Akio Minami. Delayed lumbar plexus palsy due to giant psoas hematoma associated with vertebral compression fracture and direct oral anticoagulants: a case report. BMC musculoskeletal disorders. 2021 Apr 22;22(1):377

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    PMID: 33888106

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