Spinal Tap (cont.)
Spinal Tap Pictures
The lower portion of the back, or lumbar region. The doctor is pointing to the area where the needle will be inserted between the third and fourth vertebrae. Notice the other hand on the top of the pelvis bone serving to help locate this area. (For orientation purposes, the patient is on their right side with the head off to the right side of the screen.) Click to view larger image.
An example of the sterile technique used. A drape is placed around the area (the blue sheet), and then the needle is put in place. (The glass tube going up from the needle is the device used to measure the pressure of the fluid itself.). Click to view larger image.
The fluid is allowed to collect into each of the vials so that it can be sent to the lab for analysis. Click to view larger image.
Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Euerle, B.D., Roberts JR, Hedges JR. "Spinal puncture and cerebrospinal fluid examination." In: Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th
ed. 2009: 1107-1127.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/25/2016
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