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Crystal Lake, IL
A 17-year-old female asked:

What is a spinal tap ?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Spinal Tap or: Lumbar puncture is a medical procedure to remove cerebrospinal fluid from your spine so that it can be evaluated in a lab.
Dr. M. Hytham Beck
General Surgery 43 years experience
A DIAGNOSTIC TEST: Spinal tap is a diagnostic test they make the patient lay on their side in fetus position knee bends and head down pushing the back out sometime they use sedation they clean the area of the lower back with anti septic solution they the injected the skin with numbing medicine, they place long needle in the spine to sample fluid to analyse it it is uncomfortable but not painfull.

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A 41-year-old member asked:

What medication is in a spinal tap?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Silviu Pasniciuc
Internal Medicine 27 years experience
Lidocaine : No medicine is injected in the spinal canal in a diagnostic spinal tap. Small amounts of anesthetic are injected in the soft tissues to control local pain.
Vancouver, WA
A 36-year-old male asked:

Is a spinal tap safe?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Arthur Jenkins
Neurosurgery 28 years experience
Invasive test: All invasive tests carry risks, but the conditions they are testing for (and sometimes treating) can be much worse than the test itself. I always make sure the person having the test understands the balance between risk and benefit, and any potential alternatives, if any.
A 48-year-old member asked:

Does spinal tap hurt?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Fisher
Dermatology 32 years experience
Spinal tap: While some people notice a brief pinch and some discomfort, most people don't find a spinal tap to be painful.
A 44-year-old member asked:

How painful is a spinal tap?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
Varies: This depends on how it is done and by the skill of the person doing it as well as whether there are significant degenerative changes present or a spinal deformity. Obesity can make it more difficult to do and the reason for the spinal tap may affect the result. The size or bore of the needle can be a reason as well.
Dr. Marshall Bedder
Pain Management 38 years experience
If performed correctly there should be no pain to minimal pain. Local anesthetic is infiltrated into the skin. The spinal needles used today are very thin. The level where the spinal tap is performed is below where the spinal cord ends so if a good midline approach is used no nerves should be touched.
May 12, 2017

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Last updated Apr 22, 2014

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