Getting a spinal tap...

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Getting a spinal tap...

Postby MFlo5 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:51 pm

Hello,
Im 25 years old and am having a spinal tap the day after tomorrow to see if i have MS. This is the final test i need to confirm. Can anyone offer any advice on what to expect? Honestly, will it hut? What are my chances of a Lumbar hear ache after? Any tips on how to make the experience less suckie?
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Postby jimmylegs » Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:55 pm

lie down for a long time after. don't try to function vertically much for a day. if you get up too soon and experience pain when sitting or standing upright, just lie down for longer. i staggered around for a few days and when my neuros started talking 'blood patch' i sentenced myself to bed for the weekend and got better. before that i was trying to struggle through the pain - stupid! my docs had told me lie down for 30 min after. not enough. also, make sure the person giving you the tap is all up on the research re needle bevel orientation. if they don't know what you mean that's a warning sign!!
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Postby CRHInv » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:51 am

I have only had one and am not an expert, but what I was told was to stay down for 2 or 3 hours. When I had mine I was hospitalized and they gave me a shot of Ativan. I probably had some other pain meds on board too. I was pretty scared and my nurse got me through it. My procedure didn't really hurt, but there was pressure. Anyway, I'm not much for drugs, but that Ativan was pretty amazing and I think I could have laid there all day and been happy. I did not get the headache.

That headache is supposed to be an ugly one. So be sure to take it easy. Hang in there and let us know. All the best to you.
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Postby ElMarino » Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:40 am

Hi there
I hate to write such a negative post but, I must say that I found the procedure very difficult and it brought on a huge relapse, the most disabling single relapse that I have had. It gave me terrible problems waling, tinnitus and severe eyesight problems. Previously I had never experience tinnitus and my vision and ambulation were only slightly affected. It took months for all the problems to clear up but the problems walking did not (and have grown much worse with subsequent relapses)
If I were to go back, I would refuse the procedure. Of course that might not be a good decision, the procedure will rule out other illnesses that may benefit from immediate treatment should they be detected. Nevertheless it was very harmful tio me.
I must say that the procedure was performed by a registrar and not a fully qualified doctor, although he said that he had had lots of experience. It took three or four attempts and lasted about an hour.
I really hate to make it all the more unpleasant for you by not posting good news, I'm sure that others can testify to it being a breeze for them and I was especially unlucky, but I thought I ought to tell the truth.. Sorry.
Has anyone else had a relapse brought on by the procedure?
I hope everything's fine for you.
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Re: Getting a spinal tap...

Postby peaches » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:18 pm

MFlo5 wrote:Hello,
Im 25 years old and am having a spinal tap the day after tomorrow to see if i have MS. This is the final test i need to confirm. Can anyone offer any advice on what to expect? Honestly, will it hut? What are my chances of a Lumbar hear ache after? Any tips on how to make the experience less suckie?


My neurologist told me that many people who do have MS the spinal tap does NOT show anything.... he told me I could haave one, but it may not tell him anything anyway.

I had a similar procedure years ago that they had to inject cortizone into my spinal/lower back ... I did great through it...no pain. They do have to be very careful when they do the procedure. The anestheciologist (SP??) did the procedure.

Please let us know how it goes...
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Re: Getting a spinal tap...

Postby ElMarino » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:15 pm

peaches wrote:My neurologist told me that many people who do have MS the spinal tap does NOT show anything.... he told me I could haave one, but it may not tell him anything anyway.


I wish that mine had told me that!
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Postby scoobyjude » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:28 am

When I had my spinal tap 5 years ago I was told that there was slight evidence of an o-band which basically meant inconclusive. I had to wait till I had another relapse to be dxed. My experience was bad because it was at a teaching hospital and it took the guy about 4 tries and he still couldn't get it. Once they called somebody down from neurology it was done lickety-split. It wasn't very painful, it was mostly pressure and you have to stay in a very uncomfortable position the entire time and try to remain still. I did however get a headache after I sat up about an hour and a half later. Probably should've stayed down longer. They gave me vicodin though and it went away pretty quickly.
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Postby LR1234 » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:35 am

I have had 3 LP's and have had no problems. I have had emla cream put on first (to numb the skin so not to feel the anasethic go in). and it was over pretty quick. I also didn't suffer from any headaches or any side effects. If you are really worried ask for a guided LP. I can't remember all the details of it all, maybe someone can fill the blanks in but it is when they use an X-ray or something to guide the needle to where they need it.
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Postby ErikaSlovakia » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:46 am

They do not use atraumatic needle in my country. It took me one year until a company had registered Sprotte atraumatic needle. Now, we can legaly buy it here but doctors do not know about it, so people still suffer. If I bring the needle to hospital, our doctors do not know how tu use it.
I had couple of LPs with the "old" neddle. It is a horor story - I mean the post lumbar problems. Of course, we do not have the emla cream here.
But I inform as many people as I can.
I hope they use only atraumatic needle for LP in other countries.
Aug. 7, 09 Doppler Ultras. in Poland, left Jugul. valve problem, RRMS since 1996, now SPMS,
- Nov.3,09: one stent in the left jug. vein in Katowice, Poland, LDN, never on DMDs
- Jan. 19, 11: control venography in Katowice - negative but I feel worse
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Postby catfreak » Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:40 pm

I had one and it was inconclusive. I don't want to ever have another one. Like ElMarino, I was deathly sick. Headache for about 6 days and I have a great Neuro who knows exactly how to do them.

This does not mean that you will be sick afterwards.

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9/3/09 Stanford - Dr Dake - Stent in R-J to unblock Arachnoid Cyst in Sigmoid Sinus. Stent in narrowed L-J. Balloon in narrowing where R & L Jugulars meet.
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Postby BEZALEL » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:23 pm

when i had it, i was just told i have a headache, no-one told me to stay flat, lie down, for the headache to go away. a neurologist friend told me, and i felt better laying down. but it took a week. don't ever want to do it again. my internist told me, they do it, to rule out anything else.

hope you are ok, and had no pain, there should not be :)
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Postby turtle_fi » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:30 am

i really recommend some soothing drug to be taken before (they gave me something before, but dose was not enough last time)

i have had the test 2 times. first time was bad, but excellent compared to the other. it was taken in sitting position and bending forward. one try was enough. i was ok afterwards, no headache. needle hurted like hell, though.

second time was not so lucky. doctor wanted to do it in lying down-position on my left shoulder. problem was that the stuff did not come from spine in that position.. so after several tries they put me to sitting position. and had several tries more. so this hurted much much more than the first test.

and i got a terrible headache for several days, in sitting position, I had to lie down to have it gone. they offered me a blood patch that should work, but I was not going to allow anyone to touch my spine for a few years. they said that coffee might help (i don't drink coffee), and had to go to a business trip in 2 days.. that was not a good trip, being in a plane was not nice.

and goddamit, the doctor said I cannot curse! it was just in the newspaper that cursing is hell-of-a-good-painkiller! did not make my day that doctor..
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Postby Karazhan » Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:41 am

My experience wasn't nearly as bad as I'd expected. I wouldn't even really describe the sensation I was feeling as pain but it made me cry out several times, I probably sounded like I was being tortured. I've never been a screamer (in response to pain) but it was an involuntary response to the pressure, I guess. I did have a topical anasthetic and guided needle (omg that needle was huge). The hospital staff emphasized the importance of lying flat for 2-4 hours, I think, so I never had more than a mild but unusual headache. The results of the test indicated increased immune activity.
Btw, what is a blood patch?
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Postby jimmylegs » Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:10 am

heya k, it's this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidural_blood_patch
they take some blood and inject it into the site of the LP wound or wounds. when the blood clots it helps close up the leak(s) and normalize the fluid pressure around your brain.
when i had my LP done he started the procedure once but i could still feel what he was doing ... i asked for more freezing so that i just would not be aware of the needle at all.
that request meant that he had to go in twice. that, combined with being told to lie down for only 30 minutes, probably had a lot to do with bringing on the blinding headache from hell.
like i said earlier, once the neuro started talking blood patch, i figured i would just lie on the couch for the weekend and keep the pressure on the leak(s) as low as i could so things could heal. luckily it worked.
i recall, i think, that in some countries they recommend lying down for as much as 8 hours after LP to help prevent the postural headache problem (in case this is not clear, for any newbies, the headache disappears when you lie down and is killer if you sit up or stand).
my results were typical for ms. they said my o-bands indicated chronic inflammation in the CNS and that these would not be caused by my personal history of b12 deficiency. [i later found at least one study where they were present in b12 deficiency. i'm stubborn hehehe]
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Postby jimmylegs » Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:16 am

hey m, what time zone are you in. wondering if you are all done the LP now!
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