jay47 19/02/18
Last reply 4 months ago
Lumbar puncture

Can I refuse the lumbar puncture? I am seeing a neurologist on march 2nd for a possible diagnosis but the lumbar puncture terrifies me.

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chrisj
4 months ago

I dont know about refusing.

I was under the impression that it was part of their array of tests that they do to come to a decision on diagnosis.

If it is any comfort, I had a lumbar puncture and was apprehensive, but to be honest, it wasn’t painful at all. It is more the thought of it. All I would recommend is pain killers for the few days after as it did give me bad headaches.


jay47
4 months ago

I am not afraid of the actual test but the side effects afterwards, the headache and possibly having to go back for a blood patch. I watched many videos and people said they were so sick afterwards, vomiting. I am hoping I can get a diagnosis without the spinal tap.


marcyg921
4 months ago

A Lumbar Puncture is normally one of the main tests that help diagnose MS so to not go through with it will likely make a diagnosis of your condition more difficult for your Neurologist. I get your nervous about side effects, trust me we’ve all been there, but I can say hand on heart that it isn’t all that bad. When I had mine done I was worried but I never felt a thing when it was happening (in fact at one point I asked when will we get started and they actually said they were halfway through) and I left the hospital fine. Yes I did get a headache and a saw back aferwards but that lasted for 1 day 2 at the most and it really wasn’t anything I haven’t had before.


seanachai
4 months ago

Hi

Like everyone said, its not that bad…. and try and ensure you have a “guided” LP so they can see what they are doing, I think they are all this way nowadays anyhow, but just check.

Make sure you get lots of rests immediately after, laying down for hours can avoid any headaches but everyone is different….. the longer you get rest lying down the recovery is much better, earliest you should leave hospital is at least 4-5 hours….

With all that said, I you can get really good MRI, detailed on 3T machines, you may not require it, I know some Neuros are a bit casual about it… its another angle…and tool, is your diag proving difficult and is it really required ?


jay47
4 months ago

My diagnosis is leaning towards m.s. My aunt and cousin have it. My family doc has said he has done all he can and advised that I see a neurologist. I am truly just looking for a reason why all these things are happening to my body. Like I was told, medicine is a puzzle, we have to go piece by piece.


stumbler
4 months ago

Hi @jay47 and welcome.

As mentioned above, the thought of it is much worse than the procedure. Dr Google has done you no favours on this.

It is important to lay flat after the procedure, to avoid the “headache”. Caffeinated drinks can help.


edmontonalberta
4 months ago

@jay47

Harmless; 99% harmless… Enjoy your spinal tap…


mmhhpp
4 months ago

@jay47

I had mine done this year and it didn’t hurt they injected anaesthetic first if I were you I would to Harry done do not worry at all just rest for an hour so after eight the only sit on daddy effect is headache but it’s not that bad in my case it was very late I didn’t have to have any painkillers the headache is normally after the first day


mmhhpp
4 months ago

Oops sorry I pressed the button before correcting the errors what I meant is the only secondary affect is headache which starts after a day or so but in my case it was very light I did not have to have any painkillers have it done and do not worry it does not hurt . also in my case it was a student who did it and she was brilliant . Good luck


aabreu
4 months ago

Doctor took one look at my ugly MRI and brashly told me I had RRMS. I asked her if I needed a ST. She said a spinal tap was pointless. How do you like that? Based on my sole experience, it’s might be optional for you too. But, sometimes the MRI isn’t conclusive and they really need another clue. For me, I don’t like the idea of anyone poking holes through my already faulty blood brain barrier. I would not hesitate to push back on the doctor. Can they diagnose you based on you symptoms and your MRI? My MS is not responding to the regular drugs. So I wish my MRI didn’t light up like a Christmas tree every single time.
If your doctor can’t diagnose you just off your MRI, it may sorta be a blessing in disguise.


cameron
4 months ago

As with many things MS, the thought and prospect is a lot worse than the reality. I also think that the condition can bring its own brand of mind-twisting – i.e. you can’t always rely on your own, normal, common sense to think clearly. It took me some years to realise this but now I do, I’m better at a) stopping myself ‘over-thinking’ and b) feeling guilty about any feelings I bring to a situation. As so many people have posted, the LP is not that bad nowadays. You’re inflicting stress on yourself by these thoughts and stress is mega-bad for MS, so for the sake of your (possible) diagnosis, just refuse to let yourself dwell on this.


jay47
4 months ago

Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the feedback. I guess I worry a lot because when I was 34 I had breast cancer. I had a mastectomy and chemo and all has been well since 2004. October of last year I chose to have my other breast removed, which was very stressful, since then my symptoms have gone over the roof. It was a difficult recovery. The best part is that I no longer have to fear breast cancer!!! Although, now, I may be facing another monster! Life s hard.


studentandms
4 months ago

I have just been diagnosed but didn’t have to have a lumbar puncture. I think that this is unusual but you can get diagnosed without it if you have other very obvious symptom and MRI confirmation


molly89
4 months ago

I refused it when it came up and at that point in time my neuro said it probably wouldn’t help that much. They had already done other tests indicating MS. A few years later I was diagnosed after a scan. So just do what you think is best.


tootes
4 months ago

I didn’t need one. diagnosed on symptom pic, physical tests and MRI. You can get a diagnosis without it. Ask why they need to do it, ask if it is necessary, ask if it would make any difference if you don’t. Then you can make a decision that you are comfortable with.

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