An inflammatory condition of the arachnoid mater or arachnoid.

The arachnoid is one of the membranes known as meninges that surround and protect the nerves of the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord.

Inflammation occurs because of adverse reactions to chemicals, infections from bacteria or viruses, or as the result of injury to the spine, chronic compression of spinal nerves, complications from spinal surgery or other invasive spinal procedures, or the accidental intrathecal injection of steroids intended for the epidural space.

Inflammation can lead to the formation of scar tissue and adhesions.

Inflammation can make the spinal nerves adhere to each other.

It is a condition where such tissue develops in and between the leptomeninges.

Arachnoiditis is extremely painful, especially when progressing to adhesive arachnoiditis.

The arachnoid can become ossified, as a a late-stage complication of adhesive arachnoiditis.

Chronic pain is common, and includes neuralgia.

Numbness and tingling of the extremities can occur with spinal cord involvement, as well bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunctioning can be affected

Has no consistent pattern of symptoms.

Frequently affects the nerves of the legs and lower back.

Patients experience difficulty sitting due to discomfort or pain, or because of efferent neurological or other motor symptoms, such as difficulties controlling limbs.

Difficulty sitting can be problematic for patients who have trouble standing or walking for long periods, and wheelchairs are not always helpful in such cases.

Has multiple causes, including: errantly placed epidural steroid injection therapy when administered intrathecally, or from contrast media used in myelography, noninfectious inflammatory processes including surgery, intrathecal hemorrhage, and the administration of anesthetics and steroids.

Other causes include infectious, inflammatory, and neoplastic processes.

Infectious causes include bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic agents.

Prior spinal surgery has been documented as a cause.

Can also be caused by long term pressure from either a severe disc herniation or spinal stenosis.

Treatment is generally limited to alleviation of pain and other symptoms.

Surgical intervention generally has a poor outcome and may only provide temporary relief,but some cases of surgical success have been reported.

Epidural steroid injections to treat sciatic pain have been linked as a cause.

Epidural steroid injections most likely worsen the condition.

No known cure.

Prognosis may be hard to determine, but for many, it is a disabling disease that causes chronic pain and neurological deficits, and may also lead to other spinal cord conditions, such as syringomyelia.

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