The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
Diagnostic Tests - Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap)
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What risks are there from the test?

  • The most common risk of a lumbar puncture is that it can cause a temporary headache. Lying down for a few hours after the test can make a headache less likely to occur. Other problems are rare and include infection or bleeding. Because the volume of fluid is small, a lumbar puncture almost never causes movement of the brain or spinal cord, a serious complication.

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