Lumbar Puncture

A lumbar puncture is a procedure to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It involves inserting a needle between the lumbar vertebrae in the back and extracting a sample of fluid. For your comfort, the physician will use a numbing agent on the area prior to the needle injection. Also, fluoroscopy will be used to help locate the joint space and reassure position. If the exam is successful, your spinal fluid will be sent to the lab for testing.

How Should I Prepare for the Procedure?

Stop using blood thinners 48 hours before.

What Are Some Common Reasons for the Procedure?

  • Diagnose neurological disorders
  • Decrease intracranial pressure
  • Diagnose blood within the spinal canal

For Your Safety, Be Sure to Inform the Technologists Of:

  • Any allergies
  • Bleeding problems
  • Pregnancy or possible pregnancy
  • Any previous surgeries
  • Any medications you are taking (blood thinners, aspirin, etc.)

After Your Exam

You will be instructed to remain on your back for several hours after the exam. Any activity could cause a spinal headache, resulting in possibly having to have a blood patch. You may continue your medications the following day.