Case Report

Korean J Pain 2006; 19(2): 288-291

Published online December 30, 2006 https://doi.org/10.3344/kjp.2006.19.2.288

Copyright © The Korean Pain Society.

Total Spinal Anesthesia following Epidural Block for Correction with Ilizarov Apparatus in an Achondroplasia Patient ⁣A case report⁣

Won Hyung Choi, M.D., Il Ok Lee, M.D., Mi Kyung Lee, M.D., Nan Suk Kim, M.D., Sang Ho Lim, M.D., and Myoung Hoon Kong, M.D.

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Epidural analgesia using an epidural catheter is an effective method to relieve the pain during the rehabilitating procedure for postoperative orthopedic patients. Total spinal anesthesia is one of the possible complications of epidural catheterization which can lead to a life-threatening condition. Achondroplasia is the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism resulting from a failure of endochondral bone formation. In patients suffering with short stature syndrome like achondroplasia, the incidence and risk of total spinal anesthesia during epidural anesthesia may increase because of the technical difficulty and structural anomaly of the spine. We report here on a 35-year old female patient with a height of a 115 cm. She was diagnosed as achondroplasia and she had a previous Ilizarov operation; both tibial lengthening and correction of valgus were done. No specific event occurred during epidural catheterization. Immediately after the injection of a test dose via epidural catheter, the patient became hypotensive, drowsy and showed weakness of both her upper and lower extremities. The symptoms were disappeared after 40 minutes. The catheter was removed on the next day. We concluded that the total spinal anesthesia was caused by intrathecal injection of local anesthetics through the epidural catheter, and the anesthesia then migrated into the subarachonoid space. (Korean J Pain 2006; 19: 288⁣291)

Keywords: achondroplasia, epidural anesthesia, total spinal anesthesia