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A 21-year-old member asked:

What is a lumbar puncture?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine 31 years experience
Diagnostic test: A lumbar puncture is a test where a needle is inserted into the spinal canal to draw out a small amount of cerebral spinal fluid for diagnostic testing purposes, such as diagnosing meningitis.
Dr. Joseph Mele
Plastic Surgery 32 years experience
A diagnostic test.: A lumbar puncture usually refers to a procedure that removes a small amount of CSF from the sack that surrounds the spinal cord. It is also sometimes called a spinal tap.
Dr. Leila Wing
Dr. Leila Winganswered
Internal Medicine 14 years experience
What is the question: What is your question about lumbar puncture? It is a procedure to get spinal fluid out of the spinal column to investigate for infection, protein, blood and other tests. Can be done to evaluate for meningitis, brain hemorrhage, multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Creighton Wright
General Surgery 56 years experience
Fluid: Diagnostic aspiration of fluid from the space around the spinal cord. May identify certain infections, or even malignancies. If coupled with dye injection is a myelogram. If coupled with anesthetic drugs it is a " spinal " anesthetic.

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CA
A 33-year-old member asked:

How is lumbar puncture performed?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Julian Bragg
Neurology 17 years experience
Carefully :): Lp is typically performed in the office. You will lie on your side curled up into a tight ball. After sterilizing the area, local anesthetic is injected into the skin at the small of the back, and then a spinal needle is advanced between the vertebrae into the spinal canal. Once in the canal, the fluid pressure is measured and fluid is removed for analysis. Total time is typically 20 mins.
CA
A 38-year-old member asked:

How can I prepare for a lumbar puncture?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Luis Villaplana
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
Relax!: Simply said, your expectations and advice from others, regardless of how well they mean, can put a ton of stress and tension on you. A lumbar puncture is a fairly painless procedure. Staying as still as you can during and then laying down after are the two main things you should do. Otherwise, in experienced hands, the procedure is safe and fairly painless.
Puerto Rico
A 36-year-old female asked:

How risky is the lumbar puncture?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vikram Patel
Pain Management 37 years experience
LP: Lumbar puncture these days is done for diagnostic as well as anesthetic purposes. The needles used now are pencil point and the anesthetic agents injected are preservative free. So in experienced hands, there is no danger. However, if done above the level of L2, it has a potential of damaging the spinal cord.
A 34-year-old member asked:

Can a lumbar puncture paralyze me?

5 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Padmavati Garvey
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Rare: All procedures carry a risk. For that matter, driving your car is one of the riskiest things you do on a daily basis. Procedures, such as lumbar puncture, could cause bleeding or abscess formation, and could lead to paralysis. Usually there is a good reason to do it though.

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Last updated Nov 30, 2018

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