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Is this normal during a spinal tap??

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  • 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
    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.

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    • #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.
      I'm a WNBF Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilder with national sponsors. Any questions feel free to ask.

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      • #4
        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.

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        • #5
          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.

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          • #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.
            I'm a WNBF Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilder with national sponsors. Any questions feel free to ask.

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

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  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.

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                  • #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.
                    I'm a WNBF Pro Wheelchair Bodybuilder with national sponsors. Any questions feel free to ask.

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                    • #11
                      This is definitely interesting... What do they do if you don't have someone to drive you home? Or rather, what are the consequences? I could take disabled transit back, but you know how they are--so it might be up to two hours that I'm waiting in my chair before I'd get a chance to lie down.
                      Disability Humor

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                      • #12
                        Make them let you stay horizontal for a while and no, please don’t sit more than necessary. I would find investment in a private ambulance home worth it (took one home from Kessler—about 1.5 hrs—only $200). And plan with your doctor to get a blood patch if you get the headache. Your brain rubbing on your scull* really hurts. My neuro went out of town and probably didn’t know asbout blood patches anyway, and I lost about 5 days each time. Did learn vodka and fiorinal go well together though.

                        * Okay, just caught Wise's real explanattion, but mine is what it feels like.
                        Last edited by Random; 10-19-2009, 02:08 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I had 2 spinal taps several years back to rule out MS, when I started developing symptoms that were similar to it (it turns out, I had hereditary spastic paraparesis, a much rarer defect).

                          They gave me numbing medicine before they did the tap, but it was still uncomfortable. After it was done, they had me lay flat for a couple hours to avoid a spinal headache (I've heard that this is common). I have no idea what the color of my fluid was, 'cause they didn't tell me and I didn't watch what they were doing. I just was trying to do deep relaxation and breathing, so I didn't tense up and move during the tap.

                          Jessie
                          (hereditary spastic paraparesis and L-4 SCI)

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                          • #14
                            I get paranoid after getting the last one done .I spent 5 days in the hospital til they could get the blood patch to hold. Pain city

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                            • #15
                              First one i had i did not feel a thing, so much so i had no idea he had even dont it or it was over lol. Second one exact opposite....pain, spasms like crazy til where the doctor was pissed at me! Never had a clogging issue, although on the second one he had to keep poking me using different size needles, they were bending...not sure why but i am guessing he had not much experience. The first one i had done was by a experienced spinal surgeon compared to a very young doctor that was rushed. BTW, i always watch my needle inserts on the floriscopy machine. LOL...I have had several epidurals and cortizone shots and i have always watched. (nosey is my only excuse) lol
                              “If everybody's thinking alike, somebody isn't thinking.” Gen. Patton

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