The role of ultrasound scanning in spinal anesthesia is principally limited to preprocedure imaging and identification of anatomical structures. We describe our experience with a real-time ultrasound technique for visualization and performance of spinal anesthesia. An initial cadaver study was performed in 5 unembalmed cadavers to develop a technique for real-time performance of ultrasound-guided spinal anesthesia via Taylor's approach (paramedian approach to the L5-S1 interspace). Subsequently, 10 patients scheduled for joint arthroplasty underwent real-time ultrasound-guided spinal anesthesia in the prone position. The relevant anatomy and the needletip were visualized easily and all spinals were effective for joint arthroplasty.
© 2011 International Anesthesia Research Society