Spinal Anesthesia for Hip and Lower Extremity


This procedure uses an injection of anesthesia to numb the hips and lower extremities in preparation for a medical procedure. The patient remains awake and alert, and still has the ability to offer feedback to the operating physician.


The skin of the lower back is cleaned and sterilized, and the patient is positioned to expose the lower back. A small needle injects a local anesthetic, creating a numb pathway down to the spine.

Positioning the Needle

A larger needle is carefully inserted through the numb tissue of the back. The needle is guided to the intrathecal space, the fluid-filled space that surrounds the nerve roots. The needle is pushed through the dura – the thin, tough sac that contains the cerebrospinal fluid. If a catheter is needed, it is fed through the needle.

Injecting the Anesthesia

The anesthetic mixture is slowly injected into the space surrounding the nerve roots, immediately blocking sensation.

End of Procedure

The needle is carefully removed. The affect will typically last for a few hours after the injection. If a catheter is used, it will remain in place in the spinal canal so that more anesthetic can be injected as needed. The catheter will be removed when the patient no longer requires anesthesia, and the injection site will be covered with a small bandage.