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Case Reports in Otolaryngology
Volume 2016, Article ID 4295601, 3 pages
Case Report

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss after Orthopedic Surgery under Combined Spinal and Epidural Anesthesia

1Department of Otolaryngology & Head-Neck Surgery, Hospital Pedro Hispano, 4464-513 Matosinhos, Portugal
2Department of Anesthesiology, Hospital São João, Porto, Portugal

Received 6 November 2015; Revised 3 January 2016; Accepted 10 January 2016

Academic Editor: Harukazu Hiraumi

Copyright © 2016 Ditza Vilhena et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Postoperative hearing loss following nonotologic surgery is rare. For patients undergoing subarachnoid anesthesia, the loss of cerebral spinal fluid and hence the drop in intracranial pressure can result in hearing loss and cranial nerve palsy. We report a case in which a patient sustained orthopedic surgery under combined spinal and epidural anesthesia complicated by severe and persistent sensorineural hearing loss. This report is a reminder that postoperative sudden sensorineural hearing loss is a poorly understood complication. A high index of suspicion is required for early diagnosis of this complication, although prompt treatment does not guarantee a good outcome.