Lumbar Puncture in Adults
A lumbar puncture – spinal tap - is the taking of a small
amount of fluid from the spine with a small needle. The fluid is
CSF and is sent to a laboratory to be checked.
You must rest and be quiet for at least a day.
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day for 2 days.
Keep the area where the needle went in clean and dry for 24 hours.
You can shower then. Use a bandaid for 2 more days.
Contact your doctor if you are not getting better.
Return to the hospital:
- if you get a new fever (temperature greater
than 101 F. or 38.5 C.).
- if you have a severe headache that does not get better if you lie
- if your headache lasts longer than 24 hours.
- if you get severe back pain.
- if you have any numbness or tingling in your legs.
- if there is more than slight bleeding from the needle site.
- if there is spreading redness or increasing pain around the needle