Spinal Tap

Question:

What was the cause of you needing a spinal tap? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: ljc22, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

I had a spinal tap 15 years ago for pseudotumor cerebri. I couldn't believe all the colors I could see afterwards. It took them 3 times to get into my spine and it really hurt but it got the pressure down in my brain. My doctor thinks my pressure is up again so in 2 days I need another spinal tap. I'm scared because 10 years ago I had a tumor taken out of my lumbar region and I'm afraid they are going to mess it up.

Comment from: nikki, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

My doctor ordered a spinal tap to check for multiple sclerosis. I had it done yesterday. I read online to drink lots of caffeine, so I drank pop before and been drinking coffee. I woke up this morning feeling good, no headaches. Just a little bit of pain where the needle was put in. But feeling great. No pain medicines.

Comment from: Angie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 02

I have currently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. They may want me to do a spinal tap. I just want to know the risk because my specialist told me it was a bad idea and now may want to do the spinal tap.

Comment from: leah, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I was found unconscious in my apartment. I lost my primary care doctor and I was on a lot of medications, a doctor here only gives you 30 days to find a new doctor. That was impossible for me since it takes 60 days to get a new one. It is my feeling he put my life in grave danger since I could not get the medicine. I was 8 hours from certain death so a spinal tap was necessary.

Comment from: Luka, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I had a spinal tap 5 days ago. I've been having severe headaches and nausea, so they did a spinal tap to see if there was any bleeding on the brain. I still don't know what's wrong or why I'm having these headaches. I was discharged the next day with Panadol, a very mild painkiller, with a letter for my work to say I'll be fit for work in 3 days. It is day 5 and I feel worse than before I went to hospital, no one explained the side effects of a spinal tap. I'm still in bed, can't move from the pain, and headaches are worse; feels like somebody is trying to tear my head from my shoulders. Wishing I never had the spinal tap at all.

Comment from: Ouch, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

I was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri, which means I have symptoms of a brain tumor without the tumor to take out. I received a spinal tap to relieve the swelling in my head. During the procedure, it felt like my eyes were going to pop out and my head was on fire, not to mention the needle in my back. I was released from the hospital 24 hours after the tap, but still had major headaches. It is now two days after the tap and I cannot even go take a quick bath without my head burning. I have to stay lying down. The Motrin I was given doesn't touch this pain. I guess I'll wait until I can get up without pain.

Comment from: am, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I have a spinal cord injury that showed up between two MRIs. I had an MRI in 2011 with no cord injury, then again in 2012, which then showed spinal cord Injury. My doctor wants a spinal tap done to rule out MS.

Comment from: wonka, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I had a spinal tap for my hip replacement. I have lung problems and this was used to avoid anesthesia for the surgery. I have a fungal disease and micro-bacterial disease in my lungs. The micro-bacterial disease requires three strong meds for one year to clear up. It is in the tuberculosis family but not contagious.

Comment from: Larry, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 14

A pituitary tumor removal was the cause of me needing a spinal tap.

Comment from: Still a Puzzle, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 05

I have had nine previous spinal taps because of severe headaches that never stop. We were trying and still are, to figure out what it is from. I had slightly elevated pressure in my head. I lost 35 lbs in 3 months. Now I don't need the medicine anymore, my pressure on the today's spinal tap was normal. Spinal taps can be a useful diagnostic tool. They are painful though, and not something to look forward to.

Comment from: Spierre92, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

It was used to diagnose me with multiple sclerosis.

Comment from: bob, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 20

I needed a spinal tap to check for hydroencephalitis.

Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 11

My doctor thinks I may be suffering from MS.

Comment from: 35-44 Female Published: April 02

I've had three mini strokes within a month. I've been tested for anything and everything. Everything has checked out fine. The next step is a spinal tap. All the doctors are baffled because I have no underlying symptoms.

Comment from: pamp49, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I am having constant migraine headaches and chronic neck pain.

Comment from: [email protected], 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 27

My granddaughter has unexplained seizures and they did a spinal tap on her last night.

Published: December 13

I went to the ER for a severe headache and nausea. The doctor performed a spinal tap to test for meningitis.

Comment from: Vickie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 06

My neurologist suspects I have MS and wants to do a spinal tap to be sure.

Comment from: mom in misery, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I have Sjogren's syndrome and am having frequent headaches behind right eye as well as feeling of bugs crawling up legs, and a disturbance with my speech. My MRI came back okay, but my doctor is covering all bases to rule out MS.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I am being tested to see if I have Guillain Barre Syndrome.

Comment from: apatt, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

I had a spinal tap after I had had double vision along with headaches and eye pain. I had swollen optic nerves caused by pressure in my spinal fluid they are currently testing for a tumor caused by fluid buildup and weight now the tumor can go away with weight loss and water pills.

Comment from: vixi, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

I needed a lumbar puncture as the doctors believed I had intracranial hypertension.

Comment from: MSer, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 31

I have all the classic signs of having MS. My doctor is just covering all the bases and being thorough.

Comment from: bosoxfan, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 07

Doctors are combining a spinal tap with an MRI to see if there is a cancer in my body that is causing a retinal inflammation.

Comment from: Not now!, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 15

I went to my eye doctor for eye exam because I had slight pain in my right eye when looking side to side. The doctor said, “Your right optical nerve is swollen. You need to go to the hospital right away.” The neurologist had orders waiting for CT scan and later an MRI. Still wanting answers, they said to come in next day for a spinal tap. My doctor suspects MS.

Comment from: lystra, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

I needed a spinal tap because the doctor suspected meningitis.

Comment from: Scooter, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 20

Three years ago I went to the hospital due to a severe headache. After the CT scan showed nothing the ER felt a spinal tap was necessary ASAP. No anesthesia was administered, as it needed to be performed immediately (so I was told). I don't recall actual testing as my head hurt so badly. I woke up a week later in ICU. Then spent the next 27 days on the stroke floor, followed by another 300 days of rehab. Learning to walk, talk, speak, write, and drive all over. Shouldn't happen at age 45, but that's life. When you least expect it, expect it! Bottom line was a 3.6 cm x 3.6 cm clot (DVT) to my brain. I still suffer from headaches, memory loss, mood swings, and seizures. I had another stroke a few months ago. The whole left side was paralyzed for ten days.

Patient Comments & Reviews

  • Spinal Tap - Patient Experience

    Did you receive a spinal tap? Please describe your experience.

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Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCE:

Euerle, B.D., Roberts JR, Hedges JR. "Spinal puncture and cerebrospinal fluid examination." In: Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 5th ed. 2009: 1107-1127.

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