A 44-year-old member asked:
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how painful is a spinal tap?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Thomas Dowling
39 years experience Orthopedic Spine Surgery
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.
Answered on May 12, 2017
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1 comment
Dr. Marshall Bedder
37 years experience Pain Management
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
Dr. Kevin Vaught
27 years experience Neurosurgery
Not bad: Usually only takes 5-10 minutes to perform. Although it can be a little uncomfortable, it is usually well tolerated.
Answered on Sep 14, 2014

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