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Headache, trouble breathing, cannoot bend neck, chest pain due to blood patch. Anything I can do?

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I recently went through a spinal tap because they were testing for meningitis,something i had five years ago, and there were complications in this procedure such that I had a spinal fluid leak. I received a blood patch 2 days ago and now i don't have that constant headache in which i would have to lie flat but I am having trouble breathing, can't bend my neck and upper chest hurts when i shrug. Also, I can control when i go to the bathroom but sometimes i can't. Is there anything I can do to fix these symptoms?
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 10 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Post lumbar puncture (LP) headache is a relatively common problem after the spinal tap and is usually temporary with complete recovery. Blood patch reduces the spinal leak and cures the post LP headache.

Rarely after the spinal leak, intracranial hypotension can occur and symptoms like troubled breathing, neck pain radiating to chest can happen. These are likely to disappear after the blood patch.

So I personally feel avoiding prolonged standing, taking plenty of oral fluids and medications like muscle relaxants would solve the problem. If problems persist MRI (Magnetic Resonant Imaging) of the brain with CV (Cerebro-vertebral) junction would be required to screen the cervical spine region.

Let me know if I have missed out any other concern in your question.

Yet again, I duly appreciate your query to me, I do hope that you have found something useful to help you and I shall be glad to answer any further apprehensions.


Dr Shiva Kumar R
Neurologist & Epileptologist
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