Lumbar Puncture

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Zoe Butterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 134
   Posted 7/17/2007 3:35 PM (GMT -7)   
i went to my neuro today -- he didi some tests trying to rule out lyme's so that we can talk about new ms treatments-- he did a spinal tap and said he usually does this when first diagnosing-- i think i was too scared then-- has anyone had one of these (so not fun) and do you remember what they are looking for
Zoe Butterfly3
MS-- Diagnosed August 2006
 
 


rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 7/17/2007 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Zoe

I'm sorry, no experience with LP. I'm sure others will be here soon to give u their inpu, but for now i just wanted to let u know i'm thinking of and hoping this all goes well for u. There is a headache possibility with the LP and that can be counteracted by something called a blood patch. My sister is a nurse and she insists u can ask for that PRIOR to the LP and have it done 'just in case'. I'm not sure all docs will go with that, but maybe worth asking for. Take good care and let us know how this goes.
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*


uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 7/17/2007 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes. They're looking for a specific protein that indicates MS...and if not that, then whether there are other proteins in the spinal fluid (that's that they're "tapping" -- drawing out -- spinal fluid) which would indicate some other infection(s) somewhere in the central nervous system. While a spinal tap is indeed an invasive and sometimes painful procedure, it can really help to narrow the diagnosis, or at least narrow the focus for a doctor who is trying to identify the causes of many symptoms.

The protein shows up as oligioclonal bands..sometimes referred to as o-bands...in the spinal fluid. If they're there, it's a good indication that you likely have MS. If they're NOT there, however, that doesn't necessarily mean that MS is ruled out...only that there might be other causes for your symptoms, and further testing needs to be done.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


KIMC
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 682
   Posted 7/17/2007 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   

Zoe

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. 


kman543210
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 7/17/2007 10:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a LP (spinal tap) last November, and it didn't hurt at all. After I got home, my back did hurt when I moved for the rest of the night, but I was supposed to stay still anyway. There is always a risk with this, of course, but I didn't have any problems. Some get the headache and have to have the "blood patch" like other posters mentioned (my co-worker had to have this). When I was younger, I had them weekly because I had cancer, so they had to not only check my spinal fluid, but inject methotrexate as well. Many people get worked up about a spinal tap, but again, I never a single problem when I had them done all the time nor last year.

As for what they're looking for, mosting the protein thing that was mentioned. They did a Lyme titre on me as well, negative. Just as others have said, they can't absolutely rule out MS even with a clean test.

Zoe Butterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 134
   Posted 7/18/2007 4:15 AM (GMT -7)   

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

Zoe


Zoe Butterfly3
MS-- Diagnosed August 2006
 
 


chucha
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/26/2008 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
is it normal for my back to hurt 3 days after getting a spinal tap??

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 3/26/2008 11:43 AM (GMT -7)   
chucha said...
is it normal for my back to hurt 3 days after getting a spinal tap??
Hi, I just answered this in another post you made -- do call your doctor to report it, but likely yes. I hope it clears up soon!
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


AuntAmelia
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/4/2009 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   

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".

 


rhondab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 2/4/2009 11:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Amelia

Welcome to the board! I'm so sorry to hear of u'r mom's passing and the history that u'r not possibly facing. I can't say i blame u either! Don't take any chances if u've been there. Please do come back and let us know how the MRA goes and what u find out. We look forward to getting to know u. I do hope this is all going to work out for u. Take care and best wishes.
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
 
Things that make u go hummmm......
*I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.*
*One day without sunshine is like...um..well...night?*


Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3547
   Posted 2/5/2009 7:17 AM (GMT -7)   

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. 


Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.


mystery reader
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 2/5/2009 5:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I was also scared of the lumbar puncture, but overall it was not big deal as G pointed out. A bit of discomfort during the procedure and then having to lay flat in bed throughout the rest of the day and evening. Mine also supported my diagnosis.
Barb/mystery reader
Diagnosed April 2007
Started betaseron --  May 2007 -- experienced allergic reactions after 2 weeks
Started copaxone -- June 2007 -- stopped after 4 1/2 months;experienced  severe 5 IPIR's
Started tysabri -- December 2007
Stopped tysabri -- April 2008 (developed antibodies/severe reactions)


AuntAmelia
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/9/2009 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the feedback. My MRA is tomorrow and I'm hoping for a good outcome. I already had the MRI with and without contrast so I would have thought they would have seen an aneurysm at that time. I guess the MRA just backs up the MRI findings. 'scattered areas of increased signal intensity involving the bilateral frontal lobe subcortical white matter, right greater than left. No acute infarction, hemorrhage, mass, mass-effect or midline shift. Probably represents chronic small vessel ischemic change'...that's the actual words from the MRI findings.
After the MRA tomorrow I will be dropping off a letter I've written to my Neurologist telling him that I do not wish to have the lumbar puncture and the reasons. I'm worried about how he will react. I'm worried that he's going to try to talk me into the LP and I'll be a stressed out ball of nerves again. Please say prayers for me. If for some reasons it was MS..wouldnt there be any symptoms??? I have no symptoms at all!!!! Thanks guys!

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3547
   Posted 2/9/2009 5:08 PM (GMT -7)   
You have my prayers.  It is definitely a great sign that you have no symptoms.  Good luck and let us know what you learn.
Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
 
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

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