More information about Lumbar Puncture
If you’re a medical student, a practicing physician or an advanced practice provider, you’ll likely have some advanced understanding of the Lumbar Puncture Procedure, in which case we encourage you to consider attending our Lumbar Puncture course to receive CME and Trauma CME credits if your medical license requires you to maintain continuing medical education credits each year.
We’re including additional information pertaining to Lumbar Puncture or Spinal Tap procedures for our site users who are either from a non-medical background and are seeking to learn more about the procedure or for medical industry workers looking to familiarize themselves with the process and expand upon their medical knowledge.
Are you scheduled to have a Lumbar Puncture performed?
We encourage any patient who needs to undergo a lumbar puncture procedure to research the procedure before treatment if possible. Many patients experience anxiety, nervousness, or fear when a physician explains that they will need to have a lumbar puncture performed. Our Lumbar Puncture video may be helpful or interesting to you if you will be having a lumbar puncture performed.
There is a common misconception that a lumbar puncture is a typically painful procedure – this misconception may be attributed to the decidedly intimidating procedural names “Lumbar Puncture” or “Spinal Tap”. Most patients actually report experiencing very little to no pain in most cases. Of course each case is different and individual experience may vary from patient to patient, but a lumbar puncture is typically a reasonably comfortable procedure for the patient. It is common for patients to report that the anxiety of anticipating the procedure is often worse than the procedure itself. Patients often report that the administration of the numbing medication (which is typically only mildly discomforting) is actually more uncomfortable than the procedure itself.
In some cases a lumbar puncture may need to be performed in an emergency room setting by an emergency room physician, in other cases a physician such as a Neurologist may choose to schedule a patient for a procedure in their private office.
Lumbar Puncture for Diagnosis
A lumbar puncture (also referred to as spinal tap) is most commonly performed for diagnostic purposes including the diagnosis of some nervous system-related diseases, brain bleeding, spinal or brain tumors, and cranial pressure.
Other Lumbar Puncture Purposes
Some medical procedures or diagnostic tests may require a Lumbar Puncture to assist in the procedure either by administering medications or diagnostic dyes.
Ask the Experts
To ask an HPC physician directly about the Lumbar Puncture procedure we invite you to visit us at our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HospitalProcedures. We encourage questions from physicians, nurses, patients, or anybody else with medical related questions. We also invite you to visit our videos section for more information about the Lumbar Puncture procedure.
If you have questions about the Lumbar Puncture procedure you should ask either your primary care physician or any physician who you’ve been referred to for the procedure to explain lumbar puncture to you. They will also be able to provide you with any necessary preparation instructions for the appointment and they’ll also advise of proper post-procedural care.