(Cerebrospinal Fluid Analysis; Cerebrospinal Fluid Tap; Spinal Tap)
|Lumbar Puncture Method|
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Reasons for Procedure
- Brain infection, or infection of the layers around the brain
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Any disorder affecting the nervous system
- Certain types of cancer
- Bleeding in the brain or spinal cord
- Excess CSF in the brain
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Description of Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- Drink extra fluids for the next 24 hours
- Rest and remain quiet for at least 24 hours
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions
Call Your Doctor
- Severe headache or headache lasting for more than 24 hours
- Nausea or vomiting
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the lumbar puncture site
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in your lower back or legs
- Weakness in your lower legs or difficulty walking
- Problems with urination or defecation
- A stiff neck
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you've been given
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
About Kids Health—The Hospital For Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Lumbar puncture (LP). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 31, 2012. Accessed February 13, 2014.
Torpy J, Lynm C, et al. Lumbar puncture. JAMA. 2006;296(16):2050.
Lumbar puncture test. The University of Iowa website. Available at: http://www.uihealthcare.org/2column.aspx?id=236317. Accessed February 13, 2014.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015 -
- Update Date: 02/13/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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