Has anyone had a lumbar puncture? : Hello Everyone... - LUPUS UK

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Has anyone had a lumbar puncture?

gemim profile image

Hello Everyone!

I just had a lumbar puncture yesterday. Wondering if any of you have had it and what sort of after effects you have had? I haven't got the bad post lumbar headache (not yet at any rate!) but I have a sort of floaty head/dizziness and a deep band of lower back pain all across the back. Expected some tenderness around the injection site but this is significant pain and any bending or movement makes it worse. Dosing up on the painkillers and resting, hoping that it goes away sooner rather than later!

14 Replies

Yes, I had a headache and was very dizzy for about a week

They may have nicked a nerve which may innervate what we call a dermatome. If you have swelling in the area where the puncture was done, let someone know. You can bleed or leak if an occlusive bandage is not placed properly at the puncture site. Lightheadedness and headache are the most common side effects I have heard after a LP.

I hope it was just a traumatic tap and heals quickly. LPs aren’t that easy to do and get right the first time on each person. Once they do it once, they should note where to do it again and at what angle so the next one (if ever) will be easy peasy. I had a guy I’d tap every 5 days while on chemo. By tap #3 he felt nothing.

Get some rest. Call someone if the pain gets worse and not better. Hope you feel better soon Gemim. ❤️xx

gemim profile image
gemim in reply to Jmiller623

Thanks for your input from a professional perspective. A trainee poked alot before the trainer took over and slid in the needle. The poking around was very painful so assuming that this pain is as a result of all of that. There is no swelling at the moment.

Jmiller623 profile image
Jmiller623 in reply to gemim

Oh yes. Then the trainee probably nicked a nerve. It’s a really hard task to do and train with because it can cause patients a lot of pain to try multiple times. I’m sorry. Sounds like you had a pretty traumatic tap. Ask that a trainee not do it next time because you’ve been poked enough. And there is data to suggest that first traumatic taps mean more than if it happens with later ones. Messes with the mind.

Feel better soon.

gemim profile image
gemim in reply to Jmiller623

Thanks.

gemim profile image
gemim in reply to Jmiller623

Just wanted to ask, is it normal procedure to allow a trainee to practise a spinal tap on a patient without the patient's consent? I was led to believe that the experienced doctor was going to do it but when I was on the table with my back to him and this other person, the other person proceeded to do the tap. If she had succeeded, I would not have thought anything off it but she had me jumping off the table with the pain before he took over.

Jmiller623 profile image
Jmiller623 in reply to gemim

Sorry to say but this is common practice. Consent is for the procedure but not who will be performing it. As soon as you step into a teaching hospital, you agree to accept care from residents, fellows and attendings.

That’s not to say that you don’t have a voice. You have every right to ask for an attending/fellow instead of a resident/learner to perform a procedure esp lumbar punctures. In the future, I would do so. Make it clear that you’ve had a traumatic experience with a learner and you prefer an expert. However, this will not be honored for an operation with anesthesia because everyone helps in OR cases - residents, fellows, attending, surgical nurses. But for bedside procedures, you are absolutely allowed to request someone who isn’t a trainee.

gemim profile image
gemim in reply to Jmiller623

Thanks, that is helpful and good to know for the future. Trust that I do not need another lumbar puncture any time soon!

gemim profile image
gemim in reply to Jmiller623

Just wanted to let you know that my lower back pain has completely gone! I have been using lots of pain relief medications, anti inflammatory gel, heat pads, hot waster bottle etc - I threw everything at it, desperately hoping it would go but am surprised how suddenly and completely it has gone. My back feels perfectly normal which is wonderful as I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to move freely again. It is as if a trapped nerve has been released or something pressing on a nerve has moved on. Lots of my friends have been praying that my pain would ease so this is a lovely Easter gift from the Lord. Wanted to share this more positive news with you as you were very supportive during the difficult days and I found your insight into what was going on very helpful. Gemin

I get severe reactions to lumbar punctures. I have to lie flat on my back for almost a week because I can’t stand up without severe vertigo and nausea. I’ve had two and both times it was pretty rough. My side effects happened shortly after the test -

gemim profile image
gemim in reply to LotiRamjet

That's interesting. My dizziness started as soon as I sat up after the procedure. It persisted for 2 days but thankfully now seems to have settled. Still working on controlling the lower back pain.

I've had two on two separate occasions. First time, I kicked out (my legs) during the procedure, I immediately walked afterwards, ignored all medical advice like a stubborn idiot. After that experience, the most recent LP was less painful, less side effects and the recovery was a lot smoother.

My advice is to follow their instructions to the tee. In other words, don't over do it. Rest and rest. If the headaches and dizziness persist and become more intense, seek emergency medical assistance asap.

Once you're feeling more yourself, I would say after one week, do some very gentle lower back exercises, and I mean gentle. It will aid in the healing process for that area.

Get better

gemim profile image
gemim in reply to Amakura

Thanks for sharing your experience and advice. The dizziness has gone now thankfully but the lower back is very achy. No way I can bend over at waist - have to keep back straight and bend at knees. Using heat pads (the wrap around sort) which helps a bit when I am upright and a hot water bottle when lying. Hard to get comfortable when sitting so spend most of my time lying on the settee. Had been wondering if I should be moving around a bit more but your advice seems to 'justify' me lying around for a while longer! Thanks.

Amakura profile image
Amakura in reply to gemim

Oh most definitely! You'll know when it's time to step up the pace. By the way, I tried yoga for lower back pain via YouTube but went at my own pace, which was extremely slow. Snail pace. The eventual difference /results were night and day!

Patience

😊

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