Sunday, July 27, 2008

More on the abuse of the Spinal Cord and Epidurals.

I would like to go a little further on procedures like the Epidural shot and the potential dangers that could come from it. I personally will never have another Epidural shot or test involving a needle inserted into my spine. While I am not a Doctor, my years of procedures and surgeries, sitting up late at night has given me a great deal of knowledge on pain, because I live with it day and night. One thing I have learned the hard way is just because the FDA approves something, does not mean it will help you with your problems. They are a panel of 5 Doctors and they are under a lot of pressure from congress, sometimes just one congressman to approve whatever product or medicine is involved. For example if the company that is going to be making the product falls in a certain congressional district this is where the lobbying kicks in.

You have heard me talk about Dr. Charles V. Burton, Neurosurgeon. I really hope you go this article on his site and read it in its entirety. All surgeons would do well to read his information.

"This illustration (from Noback CR: The Human Nervous System, McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1967) illustrates the human subarachnoid space surrounding the brain and spinal cord. 60% of spinal fluid is produced within the brain and 40% from the spinal subarachnoid space. It flows, as shown, and is absorbed by the venous arachnoid granulations. This spinal fluid is produced at the rate of 0.35cc/min, or 500-750cc/day. Turnover rate is 3-5 times/day. A normal adult has a ventricular volume of about 30cc and about 100+cc in the surrounding subarachnoid space. The subarachnoid space serves to be a hydraulic cushion for the floating brain, a source of nutrition as well neurotransmitters. This space is the most fragile and sensitive environment in the body.

When the subarachnoid space is subject to insult or inflammatory change damage and scarring occur. One of the primary difficulties in addressing the subject of neuropathologic change, particularly that of adhesive arachnoiditis is the great amount of confusion regarding nomenclature. Adhesive arachnoiditis is an advanced form of arachnoiditis and is most often confused with the latter. Some of the other terms by adhesive arachnoiditis has been referred to have been:

Serosa Circumscripta Spinalis
Intraspinal Granulomatosis
Obliterative Arachnoiditis
Chronic Arachnoiditis
Spinal Meningitis
Chronic Spinal Meningitis
Chemical Meningitis
Sterile Meningitis
Granulomatous Meningitis

Once one has gotten beyond the "Tower of Babel" part of the semantic issues it is important to look closer at the normal anatomy of the lumbar spinal column, the dural membranes, and the subarachnoid space. In the image, to the left, the nerve rootlets of the cauda equina, which are in motor and sensory pairs, are shown as single nerves for simplification. If a lumbar puncture were to be performed the needle would simply push the nerve roots, floating in cerebrospinal fluid, out of the way. If a similar procedure were attempted in a patient with Class III Adhesive Arachnoiditis, where the nerve roots were fixed to each other and to the dura mater, the needle could easily injure or sever the nerves."

Please go to


frogmom1125 said...

I have AA from Depo Medrol injections into my spine. I've attempted without any success to find an attorney to take my case. Have you been able to find a lawyer? Anyway, I found your site while looking for more Arach sites and I'm encouraged to read about someone's personal experience with the problem. So thanks.

MariJoy said...

You are right on. I had an epidural with the birth of my second child. As well as leaving me with an unresponsive left foot (stirrup flop - temporary), the procedure damaged a nerve in my spinal column. Now whenever I attempt to walk over a certain distance, the damaged nerve ending at the ball of my foot feels like it is on fire - this is permanent :-(

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