Spinal anesthesia

Spinal anesthesia involves the injection of a medication into the canal next to the spinal cord. It is used to numb the body below the chest, usually before a surgical procedure.

The area where the needle will be inserted is first numbed with a local anesthetic, then the needle is guided into the spinal canal and the anesthetic is injected. The person may not be able to move his or her legs until the anesthetic wears off.

Last Updated: January 28, 2010

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & John M. Freedman, MD - Anesthesiology

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