After lumbar puncture - leg and arm pain/sensations - is it permanent nerve damage?
I am 27 years old male from sweden who come to seek advice on this forum.
The 29th november I had a spinal tap/lumbar puncture that took about 15-20 minutes.
I lay on a bed with my legs curled up like a cat, no anesthesia.
I felt when the doctor pushed in the needle and pressure when he moved it around, initially everything went well. But suddenly I felt tingling pain in my left left leg for a few seconds, then it stopped, shortly thereafter it begun again and I told the doctor. After that I did not feel any more discomfort. The doctor had not warned be this could happen, so I was so shocked it took me a few seconds to alert him, which I regret deeply now.
Immiedately afterwards I did not feel anything but pain in my back, but after a few hours sensations begun on different parts of my left leg = vibrations, muscle spasms, chilling, pain, discomfort. The discomfort level was well below what I experienced during the procudure though.
These symptoms have now been constantly haunting me for the entire 3 days since the procedure.
Further more, I believed the symptoms would be limited to the left leg, which was the only place I felt discomfort/pain in duing the procedure.
But on friday I had muscle spasms in my right buttock from time to time, and strokes of pain in my left arm for very brief moments.
On saturday the left arm pain came back more frequently and on sunday the left arm pain went from blasting every time a few seconds apart to ache for 3 minutes straight, then it went away.
Today on monday the pain suddenly have switched to my right leg, arm and hip. I should state here that the pain is ONLY in ONE place at the time thus far fortunately. (knock on wood)
Should I be alarmed that the pain/symptom are starting to appear all over my body instead of only in the left leg? Shouldn´t the pain caused by the procedure be limited to the left leg only?
Is it possible that I could have permanent nerve damage? If its still temporary nerve damage, is there any way I can increase the chances of the inflammation/bleeding/soreness to heal? I know they give ER patients from car accidents high doses of cortisone for example. Could that be of use in my case?
I am extremely anxious and scared at this point and want to know if I can actively do something to help, instead of just waiting.
Well, no general anesthesia is given during lumbar puncture. You curl up in fetal position and then local anesthesia is given followed by inserting a hollow needle into the spinal space (you can often feel this). You can feel pain/numbness etc in one or both legs after that, but generally not in arm or one half of body. If you are feeling this pain in one half of body, then either it is due to a neurological problem you are being investigated for or it is due to herniation of brain tonsils (a side effect of lumbar puncture). Since the pain staretd after the tap, please consult your neurologist immediately. Take care!
The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
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