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Lumbar Puncture

Posted On: 10-02-2015
Lumbar Puncture

What is a Lumbar Puncture?

During a lumbar puncture, a needle is placed into the subarachnoid space of the spinal column.

Also Known As:

  • Puncture of spine
  • Spinal puncture
  • Spinal tap
  • Cerebrospinal fluid collection
  • Cerebrospinal fluid examination

Conditions Treated with a Lumbar Puncture:

A lumbar puncture may be performed in cases of pain. It can also be used to drain cerebrospinal fluid, measure pressure in the subarachnoid space, administer drugs, and diagnose conditions such as brain and spinal cord tumors, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral hemorrhage, encephalitis, acute demyelinating neuropathy, autoimmune diseases, degenerative brain diseases, Reye syndrome, Guillain-Barre syndrome and inhalation of anthrax.

Lumbar Puncture by OrangeCountySurgeons.org - 2

Non-Surgical or Other Surgical Alternatives to a Lumbar Puncture:

There are no comparable non-surgical or surgical alternatives to a lumbar puncture.

Anesthesia with a Lumbar Puncture:

A lumbar puncture is performed under local anesthesia.

Potential Complications from a Lumbar Puncture:

Possible risks following a lumbar puncture include nerve root injury, spinal headache, arterial puncture and a negative reaction to the anesthesia. It is also possible to experience tonsillar herniation due to the increase in intracranial pressure.

Prognosis after a Lumbar Puncture:

The prognosis for a positive end result following a lumbar puncture is very good.

Recovery from a Lumbar Puncture:

Total recovery from a lumbar puncture takes one hour.

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