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Severe headache on laying after SPINAL TAP.

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Hi I had a spinal tap done 9 days ago which came back ok.. But on the day after I got a severe headache with neck pain if I am laying down it is tolerable but standing and sitting up is severe pain.
I have pretty much been on bed rest since do to the sever pain while standing and sitting up.. I have tried caffeine, ibprophen and pain meds which have no relief .. Someone mentioned something about possibly needing a blood patch? Am I to far out for something like this is it normal ? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as to where I am starting to become really depressed over the constant pain and not being able to do anything.. Thanks

Category: Neurologist, Medical

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Category: Pediatric Neurologist
Dr. Sudhir Kumar is online now

Expert:  Dr. Sudhir Kumar replied 4 Days.


Thank you for posting your query on

I have noted your symptoms and they are suggestive of post spinal (lumbar puncture) headache. It is fairly common and there are no other symptoms apart from the headache. The headache is caused by leakage of Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) from within the outer spinal membranes (the dura mater) and traction on pain-sensitive structures.
It subsides on own in most people but in some, it persists for long. In those patients, it is better to put a blood patch to seal the leak in the dura mater (covering of spinal cord and nerve, which gets torn due to the spinal tap). It is a minor and safe procedure, and the decision depends on the severity of headache.

I hope this helps. Feel free to discuss further.

Best wishes,
Dr. Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine), DM (Neurology) Senior Consultant Neurologist.

Dr. Sudhir Kumar
Category: Pediatric Neurologist
Senior Residency, Fellowship: DM, Neurology, CMC, Vellore, 2001
Junior Residency: MD, Internal Medicine, CMC, Vellore, 1998
Medical School: MBBS, Christian Medical College, Vellore, 1995
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