Arachnoiditis is an extremely painful pathological condition of the spine in which there is inflammation of the arachnoids. The arachnoids are a part of the three membranes that surround and protect the brain and the spinal cord.(1) As a result of this inflammation, there may be disruption in the smooth flow of the CSF. It also causes a variety of neurological symptoms including numbness and tingling in the lower extremities, severe intense headaches, problems with ambulation, bowel and bladder dysfunction, and excruciating pain at the site of the inflammation along the spinal cord.
Arachnoiditis can be caused after a surgery to the spinal cord, injury or trauma to the spinal cord, or irritation from any medications injected directly into the spine for individuals with chronic back pain. The resulting inflammation causes the nerves to get damaged and clumped together. There is also scar tissue formation at the site of the inflammation causing the symptoms to be more disabling for the affected individual.
Since Arachnoiditis is a condition which involves the spinal cord, a pertinent question that arises is whether this condition can cause paralysis.
Can Arachnoiditis Cause Paralysis?
The answer to this question is, Yes. As Arachnoiditis is an inflammatory condition around the spinal cord and involves the nerve fibers, paralysis is something that is not out of question in cases of Arachnoiditis.(2) The reason behind this is that the inflammation of the arachnoids causes the nerve fibers to get clumped together, which when severe, and left untreated, can result the communication between the nerves of the lower extremities and the brain to get interrupted or even completely cut off. This is what results in paralysis of the lower extremities.
In conclusion, paralysis can be caused as a result of Arachnoiditis. This is because of the damage caused to the nerve fibers due to the inflammation resulting in the nerves getting clumped together causing disruption in the communication between the nerves and the brain and if this condition is not treated it results in paralysis of the lower extremities.