Lumbar Puncture

A lumbar puncture is performed in order to sample cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). During a lumbar puncture, a small needle is inserted into the spinal canal in the lower back and a small amount (~10 mL) of CSF is removed and sent to the laboratory for analysis. A lumbar puncture is used in the diagnosis of a wide variety of diseases including multiple sclerosis, meningitis and tumors inside the central nervous system. This procedure is low risk. Patients will be asked to lie flat on their backs for a few hours after the lumbar puncture to help eliminate the chance of developing post-lumbar puncture headache. A post-lumbar puncture headache is a headache that gets worse while standing up and better while lying down. If a patient does develop this kind of headache after a lumbar puncture, conservative measures such as caffeine and pain medication are attempted first. If those measures fail to relieve the headache, the patient will return for an epidural blood patch.

Lumbar Puncture

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