What Is the Difference Between Intrathecal and Epidural?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 9, 2020 10:46:45 AM ET

According to Dr. Reitzel at Empowher, intrathecal refers to a single injection that is administered through the spinal sack and into the cerebral spinal fluid, while epidural injections involve a catheter placed beside the spinal sack that is responsible for holding the cerebral spinal fluid. The difference lies not just in the technique implemented, but also in the length of time that the medications are administered for and can stay in the body. Intrathecal injections have a finite amount of time that they can stay in the body, whether it be for 30 minutes or over an hour; epidural catheters, by contrast, allow for the medications to be administered in a continuous manner without any disruptions.

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