Spinal and epidural anesthesia involve the injection of medicine near the spinal cord and the nerves around it. They are used to numb areas of the body so you won't feel pain.
First, the area where the needle will be put in is numbed. Then the needle is guided in. For spinal anesthesia, the numbing medicine is given through the needle. For epidural anesthesia, the needle is usually used to place a small tube called a catheter. Then numbing medicine is given through the catheter. You may not be able to move your legs until the medicine wears off.
Current as of: June 23, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
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