Serious neurological complications of abdominal aortic vascular surgery are rare but devastating for all involved. When epidural blockade is part of the anaesthetic technique such compliscations may be attributed to needles, catheters or drugs. We present a patient who developed paraplegia following an elective abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. Continuous epidural blockade was part of the anaesthetic technique and postoperative analgesia. In this case the spinal cord damage was explained by ischaemia caused by the aortic surgery. This event has made us aware of a rare complication associated with abdominal aortic surgery and highlighted safety aspects of epidural anaesthesia in such patients.