Spinal Arachnoiditis Treatment
Causes Pain in the Low Back and Legs
Spinal Arachnoiditis is a neuropathic disease caused by an inflammation of the arachnoid, one of three membranes comprising the Spinal Meninges (the other two being the Dura Mater and the Pia Mater), that together covers and protects spinal nerves and nerve roots in the lumbar region of the spine.
Patients with spinal arachnoiditis typically experience severe constant pain to the lower extremities.
Symptoms of Spinal Arachnoiditis
Patients typically experience severe constant pain in the lower extremities.
Arachnoiditis may be caused by:
- Infections such as tuberculosis and meningitis
- Injuries in the lumbar spine which may occur from needle or catheter placement due to anesthesia
- Myelograms, especially those done in the past using oil soluble dyes.
- Multiple spinal taps
- Operations on the spine
MRI scanning is the gold standard for the diagnosis of arachnoiditis. Typically one sees clumping of the nerve roots. Enhancement of the nerve roots with contrast as well as the presence of swollen thickened nerves may also be seen.
Treatment of arachnoiditis may initially include limiting physical activities and the use of steroids. Anti-inflammatory medications as well as gabapentin may be of benefit. Psychological counseling may be needed to help patients cope with the depression which may surround the pain. A spinal cord stimulator may be implanted to help with some of the pain. Implantable infusion pumps which deliver opiates and other medications directly into the spinal canal may also be of benefit.
Prognosis may vary depending on the severity of the arachnoiditis. With the variety of modalities available, patients may often achieve a reasonably good and acceptable level of pain.
For more information on Arachnoiditis or for a consultation at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute please call: