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Why am I getting headache and pain in neck after a spinal tap?

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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 349 Questions
Neurologist: Hi, I have taken a spinal tb October 2nd, got Blood patch october 7th and have had neck pain and headach (pain scale: between 1-3) which started about 2 weeks after the blood patch. I am scheduled to do another spinal tap November 8 (I got a seziure the first time) and I wonder if its advisable to do another spinal tap as long that I have these post blood patch pains? I.e. is it more likely that I will get headach after the spinal tap and will the post blood patch pains I have now likely to increase?
Posted Thu, 15 Nov 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Piyush Ostwal 30 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

Headache after a spinal tap is a well known complication and usually subsides on its own. Very rarely do patients need to undergo blood patch to control that.

If you had seizure and post-lumbar puncture headache on 1st occasion, it is likely that you may have headache again the second time. Therefore if it is avoidable, I would recommend it to be deferred for now. You can discuss the same with your treating doctor. I would like all pains to settle before another procedure is undertaken.

Hope this answers your query. If you have more queries, I will be happy to answer.

Good luck!!!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why am I getting headache and pain in neck after a spinal tap? 58 minutes later
Hi, is it normal to have headach and stiff neck after a blod patch? Is it due to issues with preasue or fluid level in the spinal canal? And how long will it take before its gone?

Thanks for your original reply :-)

Answered by Dr. Piyush Ostwal 1 hour later
Hello and thanks again for following up.

The real aim of the blood patch is to relieve headache following the spinal tap. The headache and neck stiffness could have been due to the original spinal tap itself.

If the leak is persistent another attempt at blood patching may be required.

Hope this clarifies your doubt. Let me know if you have other enquiries.
If all your queries are answered please close this discussion.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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