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Arachnoiditis

Arachnoiditis is a chronic painful condition caused by inflammation of the arachnoid linings of the spinal cord. Arachnoid linings are one of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord for protection.

Arachnoiditis Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Arachnoiditis are pain with burning sensations.

  • Severe shooting pains with electric shock-like sensations
  • Tingling, weakness, numbess of lower extremities
  • Muscle cramps and uncontrolled twitching along with spasms

This condition is associated with significant disabilities and even chronic depression.

Causes of Arachnoiditis

  • Chemically-induced
  • any procedure on the spinal cord: myelography and intrathecal steroid injection can produce Arachnoiditis
  • Infection-induced Certain viral, fungal, or tuberculose infections can produce Arachnoiditis
  • Spinal surgery-induced Arachnoiditis can be caused by more complex and extensive back surgeries, including lumbar punctures

Arachnoiditis - How to Diagnose?

An imaging study with MRI Scans is usually very helpful in making the diagnosis. A CT myelogram scan is helpful in other patients.

Arachnoiditis - Best Treatment

The treatment options include mostly symptomatic treatment of the shooting pain. There is no known cure for this chronic condition. Treatment is geared towards physiotherapy, psychotherapy, and anti-seizure medications.

Spinal cord stimulator is very useful in a selective group of patients with this painful condition. If the patient fails oral opioids, an intrathecal spinal morphine pump has been used successfully to treat this condition.

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