Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Mark Romanick


Epidural Abscess -- rehabilitation; Patient Outcome Assessment; Case Reports


Background and Purpose: An epidural abscess comes from an infection of the central nervous system. In this patient's case he had a spinal thoracic abscess removed that was pushing against his spinal cord. The purpose of this case report is to assess the patient's outcome after therapy implementation. The goal was to see how effective the interventions were for the patient.

Case Description: The patient was a 63-year-old male who underwent surgery to remove a thoracic epidural abscess that was causing paraplegia. He was coming to outpatient physical therapy 2 months before I started my clinical treating him. Prior to the abscess removal, he had no medical history and was fully independent. He had difficulty with ambulation, balance, bed mobility and transfers after the abscess removal.

Intervention: The interventions performed with this patient were gait training, therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular reeducation, patient education, bed mobility, and transfers.

Outcomes: Following 9 weeks of outpatient physical therapy interventions with 14 visits, he became independent with all bed mobility, transfers, and could ambulate in the community. He had increased his endurance and his lower extremity strength.

Discussion: Research shows that the Berg Balance Scale is a strong assessment for standing balance for individuals with a spinal cord injury. I used this assessment at the beginning and end of his physical therapy treatment to assess my patient's improvement. My patient was motivated to accomplish his goals and use his low Berg Balance Scale score as a motivator to improve.