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Thread: Is this normal during a spinal tap??

  1. #1

    Is this normal during a spinal tap??

    I had a spinal tap last Thursday and my doctor said whenever he tried to withdrawl the spinal fluid it would clog up.

    On Friday I had HORRIBLE pain radiating through to my stomach and chest from my spine. It raised my blood pressure, etc!

    Is this run of the mill or am I just special?? LOL!!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Ally, taps tend to cause some serious stupendous pain. Not during normally but right after. Docs normally warn you in advance. Normally the pain lasts up to 3 days while your body produces more spinal fluid. Other than lying flat on your back as much as possible and icing around the neck area there is not much that can help this kind of pain. I've had two and thankfully I was in an induced coma for the first. The second hurt like a mutha after.

    As for the difficulty withdrawing the fluid.... I'd treat it like an IV insertion. If the first guy has problems have him get another doctor with more experience in there right away.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  3. #3
    I agree Sue.
    Mine, he was in and out. I was lucky the pain was less than expected. It hurt more watching on monitor, than I had after words. I had discomfort but not pain. I did do icing and all the doc recommended stuff religiously.

  4. #4
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    David has had several spinal taps, all went well with his. No pain during or after. The main thing was to keep laying down for the rest of the day afterwards. No clotting on any of his. I would have to agree with the IV theory.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Rich, I am amazed they let you watch on a monitor. I understand that those who have pain during the procedure is due to tensing of muscles. Besides those who tense because the doc hit bone or worse on the first insertion the others just tense due to hating the whole idea.

    David is one very lucky Dude, MSWife! Ok, maybe not with the need for such tests...

    There are some rare few who get rectal pain from taps and those they can give morphine suppositories to for it. I believe this is more common in small children.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  6. #6
    I asked to watch. They said ok as long as no problems came up. I was numb enough all I felt was a little push, pause and pull.
    The color of my fluid told the story but they still had to send it in for documented testing.

  7. #7
    I'm curious...what would the color of the fluid tell you? What is considered an abnormal fluid-colour?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Allyjaysmom View Post
    I had a spinal tap last Thursday and my doctor said whenever he tried to withdrawl the spinal fluid it would clog up.

    On Friday I had HORRIBLE pain radiating through to my stomach and chest from my spine. It raised my blood pressure, etc!

    Is this run of the mill or am I just special?? LOL!!
    Allyjaysmom,

    What the doctor encounter is not unusual. Many spinal taps are non-productive, i.e. the doctor is not able to get the needle into a place where he/she can withdraw cerebrospinal fluid.

    At least in my experience, the distribution of pain that you describe is unusual. I have done quite a few spinal taps. When substantial amounts of cerebrospinal fluids are removed, some people get headaches. This is because the cerebrospinal fluid is essential for filling the ventricles and other spaces in the brain. If there is not enough fluid and the brain "sinks" or collapses a bit, this leads to tension on the blood vessels on the surface of the brain and headache. It should not produce pain in your stomach or chest.

    Wise.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Khaleeka View Post
    I'm curious...what would the color of the fluid tell you? What is considered an abnormal fluid-colour?
    Khaleeka, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) should be colorless, like water. If there had been a hemorrhage in the brain or spinal cord, the CSF may have a pink or straw tinge (called xanthothroma) but that would be abnormal. It may be cloudy, suggesting the presence of white blood cells. The maximum normal number of white blood cells (WBC) in CSF should be no more than 5 WBC per ml.

    Wise.

  10. #10
    It was many years ago, so I forget what color mine was, but I do remember he showed me mine and it was definitely not clear.
    So we knew something was wrong. Just had to wait for testing of it to verify M.S.

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