// News Entry

Fall-Winter 2011

FAQ: Lumbar punctures (LP)

  • How long does it take? The LP takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes, with an additional 30 minutes to rest after the procedure.
  • Does it hurt? You can expect pressure when the needle is inserted and may experience brief leg pain while the needle is positioned.
  • Can I be paralyzed if the needle hits the spinal cord? No. The needle is inserted below the spinal cord. There is no risk of paralysis.
  • What are the side effects of a LP? During the procedure, you may have   temporary back pain and/or discomfort. After the procedure, you may have a headache. There are other side-effects that are uncommon, which our physician can discuss with you.
  • How is the lumbar puncture performed? You will either lie on your side, with your knees drawn up or you will sit on the edge of the exam table. A local anesthetic may be given at the puncture site. A needle is inserted into your back to collect the spinal fluid.

For more information about lumbar punctures, please contact us at 212-241-8329. We can arrange an appointment with one of our physicians. We also have informational videos about the procedure that you may borrow or you can visit http://www.adcs.org/Research/LPVideo.aspx.


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