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Spinal anesthesia: Technique

Authors
Alexander M DeLeon, MD
Cynthia A Wong, MD
Section Editor
Stephanie B Jones, MD
Deputy Editor
Marianna Crowley, MD

INTRODUCTION

Spinal anesthesia is a type of neuraxial anesthesia; local anesthetic (LA) is injected into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the lumbar spine to anesthetize nerves that exit the spinal cord. Spinal anesthesia is most commonly used for anesthesia and/or analgesia for a variety of lower extremity, lower abdominal, pelvic, and perineal procedures.

This topic will discuss the relevant anatomy, techniques, and management of spinal anesthesia. Indications, contraindications, preoperative evaluation, physiologic effects, and complications of spinal anesthesia are discussed separately.

Techniques for other types of neuraxial anesthesia, including epidural and combined spinal-epidural, are discussed separately. (See "Overview of anesthesia and anesthetic choices".)

ANATOMY

Spinal anesthesia is performed by placing a needle between the lumbar vertebrae and through the dura to inject anesthetic medication. Anatomy of the bony spine and vertebrae are discussed in more detail separately (figure 1 and figure 2). (See "Spinal column injuries in adults: Definitions, mechanisms, and radiographs", section on 'Anatomy'.)

Anatomy related specifically to the performance of spinal anesthesia is discussed here.

                        

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Thu Dec 01 00:00:00 GMT 2016.
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