An article earlier this week in Pain Network News reports on proceedings at a pioneering 2-day conference on arachnoiditis, headlined by PAINWeek senior faculty member Forest Tennant, MD. Arachnoiditis is a progressive and incurable inflammation of the spinal cord that subjects most people who have it to severe chronic pain. The condition most frequently develops from damage to the arachnoid membrane that surrounds the spinal cord during surgery or by needle puncture during an epidural steroid injection. Inflammation sets in and can spiral out of control, forming scar tissue that cause spinal nerves to stick together. That leads to adhesive arachnoiditis and neurological problems, which can cause burning or stinging pain. Tennant, a leading authority on treatment of the condition, estimates as many as one million Americans may suffer from arachnoiditis, many of them misdiagnosed with “failed back syndrome” or other spinal problems.
Dr. Tennant treats around 60 arachnoiditis patients from around the country at his pain clinic in West Covina, California, and has developed a complex and unique therapy that combines pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamins and hormones. "I would not dare prescribe these drugs if I didn't have control of the opioids and everything else you're doing. These things are hazardous in the hands of the inexperienced," he warned. The treatment landscape for many patients is further complicated by an insurance reimbursement structure that does not cover therapeutic modalities of this type. The diagnosis and treatment of arachnoiditis will be considered in the Neurology track at PAINWeek 2016, convening September 6-10 in Las Vegas.
To read more about the condition go here.
To learn more about PAINWeek and register for the conference, go here.