Arachnoiditis is the inflammation of the spinal cord (the arachnoid membrane). The nerves that become coated by this membrane within the CSF, along with the inflammation, can cause scarring and the nerves to “stick together” in clumps. Arachnoiditis is caused by a number of conditions including compression of spinal stenosis associated with degenerative spondylolysthesis.
Arachnoiditis can also be caused by trauma, infection, inflammation, and even surgery. If there is a larger dural tear during surgery, there is a chance of arachnoiditis. Not all patients who have arachnoiditis will develop symptoms; those who do will need a thorough exam so that treatment can be implemented.