I've had the LP done twice. They give you a shot first to numb the area. I sat on the bed and leaned over whie they did the spinal tap. It didn't hurt but you have to be still. I had to lay flat for 4 hours before I could go home. After the second one I had a headache for a week. Not pleasant but not unbearable either. I have heard of some people who have had some problems afterward, but I think this is the exception rather than the rule.
My understanding is that none of the tests alone (spinal, MRI, evoked potentials) is definitive. It is weighing the results of all of them together. Even then it is not definitive and I have had several opinions and the Drs do not interpret the results the same.
BTW lyme will show in the spinal fluid about 5% of the time. This is one of the least accurate tests for lyme.
Thank you for getting back to me everyone-- i actually had it done yesterday-- he said he was gonna numb it and when i thought he had the numbing needle in it hurt like crazy and i jumped 10 feet into the air (exaggerating) theni heard him say oh you shouldn't have done that-- cuase i guess it was the tap but it ended up being ok and he got what he needed-- it was really sore and still is today but no headache-- just my usual symptoms making stuff sore and extra soreness in my right hip and where he injected-- don't wanna have one again though that is for sure-- well hopefully this helps tell him something they drew blood for lyme tests too --he said that if it all comes back negative we are retesting sending samples to ca-- well either way i will deal with what it is-- he mention fybromylasia on top of ms possibly and lou gerigs but i don't remember
wish me luck-- although i know i have something and would prefer nothing but i have had a boat load of lesions but roids and the copaxone made me worse =( i'm tough tthough so whatever it is i will keep on truckin -- i am actually already diagnosed with ms but now they are not so sure
Hugs Hope and Peace
I have mild headaches 5 out of every 7 days. I was referred to a neurologist and he ordered an MRI. The MRI impression was that 'non-specific areas of increased signal intensity involving the bilateral frontal subcortical white matter, right greater than left probably represents chronic small vessel ischemic change'. After seeing the brain scans he ordered an MRA and then added a Lumbar Puncture to the order. ...due to the white spots he saw on the scans he wanted to rule out MS. I've decided to go ahead with the MRA as it will definitively tell me if I have an aneurysm or not. My mother died of an aneurysm. After the horror stories I've read about regarding Lumbar Punctures...I'm not going to take the risk.
I'm thankful for this site and for being strong enough to actually be able to tell the Neurologist.. "thanks but no thanks on the lumbar puncture".
Just so you can have a balanced picture......for most of us the lumbar puncture is no big deal. I certainly did not enjoy mine but it did solidify my diagnosis with lots of very clear evidence of what I had and what I didn't have. A lumbar puncture done well can be a huge help for many. In the case of suspected spinal infection, it is a life saving diagnostic tool.
Do remember that migraines can cause spots or lesions as well. Try not to worry too much. PLease do come back and let us know how you are doing. I also would like to offer my sympathy at your mother's passing.