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Spinal Tap / Lumbar Puncture headache??
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Spinal Tap / Lumbar Puncture headache??

I had a spinal tap done 2 weeks ago, after 1 week I think I've developed the spinal headache.  I've had the headache for almost a week now and its not getting better.  Could it still go away on its own or will I need a blood patch? I want to avoid it if I can, I've beed laying down for about a week now. Is it possible it will resolve on its own? Thank you
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12 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, in most cases of post lumbar puncture headache, the pain goes away by 3 weeks. You can take mild pain killers like ibuprofen, paracetamol etc for 4-5 days. But if it persists more than that, do consult doctor.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for the reply.  Have you had a LP headache before?  If so, did you get the blood patch or did it go away on it's own.  
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Avatar_f_tn
What's a blood patch? I had LP done (5 years ago) and never heard of that.

It's essential to keep your fluids up as dehydration can make it worse and if your body is telling you to lay down and take it easy, then lay down and take it easy.

I didn't have averse effects, but then I drank plenty of fluid before hand and after & as I was in hospital at the time I really was allowed to rest.

Kind Regards
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Avatar_f_tn
epidural blood patch

http://wiki.noblood.org/Epidural_Blood_Patch

I guess it works really well in relieving the headache. I'm afraid to do it but I might to get rid of this 2 week old headache.  Did you have the headache?  How long did it last for you? I can't get out of bed because of it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the link I  just looked it up ~

I had no trouble after my lumbar puncture, but as it was done during my stay in hospital when I was first diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis I had 24/7 care, I had been reasting before hand, had drunk plenty of fluids and the same afterwards.

Can you get hold of 'pro plus' or paracetamol that has caffeine added too, only I noticed on one of the websites that caffeine may help with these headaches. It may be worth a try before doing the blood patch.

Best Wishes.
Jacqui
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi there!  

Spinal headaches are usually worst the first 48 hours after the procedure and should be completely gone by 2nd to 3rd week.  I agree in the intake of pain relievers to control the pain and that you should go back to your doctor if the ache is still persistent or if you develop other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or increased sleeping time.

Hope this helps.  Regards...
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Avatar_n_tn
I am unfortunately all too familar with spinal headaches.  I had a kidney removed a few years ago and they did a spinal block prior to general anesthesia due to the nerves related to my kidney.  I have never had a headache comparable to that.  It took 2 blood patches to work and the second one was done under fluroscopy and was pretty much immediate relief.

My second spinal tap to look for diagnosis of MS was just recently and it was like de ja vu.  They suggest drinking lots of caffeine and laying flat as much as possible.  When this did not subside I once again had to have not one but two blood patches - the second under fluro.  

I think some people are just more prone to these types of after effects than others.  I have learned that unless it is absolutely necessary I will avoid any kind of spinal fluid manipulation.  See your doctor if this does not resolve soon.  They can help you , just be persisitent.  Hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for telling me your story. I had a blood patch done yesterday, it wasn't bad. Then, last night my back hurt so bad that I was shaking. I thought I would throw up from the back pain. It's finally gotten better today. How painful was the blood patches you had?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I had a spinal tab 5 days ago, I was told to drink a lot of fluid and caffeine and also take it easy for 2 days.  I didn't have a headache but I was told if I did that I would need a blood patch.  would you mind explaining what a blood patch is.   I am glad you're feeling better
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Avatar_f_tn
They remove blood from your hand and IMMEDIATELY insert that blood at the base of your spine or area of leak to form a blood patch and seal the leak.

In my case it was 17 cc's of blood...... the doctor did not have the heart to put the last 3 cc's in me because I was screaming in pain...

When the blood is removed from your hand the temperature begins to drop - thus they put it in immediately, to prevent too much of a drop in temp - the doc told me the change in temperature was what made it painful...

My blood patch was the most horrendous thing I've ever experienced.

God Bless!
Amy
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much for the detail explanation.  I thank God I didn't have to go through that, it sounds absolutely horrible.
Wish you the very best
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2071633_tn?1331506329
I recently had to undergo the blood patch...It was the most painful procedure but it did help in relieving most of the spinal headaches that were causing me dizziness, nausea, blurry vision, and severe vomiting...It was a long procedure due to the fact that I had the pain for 10 days and I was severely dehydrated even though I had been given IV fluids the day before and the same day of the procedure...My experience was horrible I had been in bed as I was told for the 2 days then I returned to the hospital on the 3rd day and was hospitilized for the procedure to be done....It wasn't done during my hospital stay...I continued to have severe nausea, headaches, blurry vision, and vomiting, finally my own doctor did the blood patch...The headaches were better but I still feel some slight brain freeze headaches depending how I turn my head and I can't move my eyes too quickly cause it gives me a headache...I may need to have a 2nd Blood Patch procedure done...I don't recommend this CT SCAN myelogram with contrast to anyone! If I would have known the risks of having it, I would of never had it done....
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