PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What is a spinal tap and when is it used?

ANSWER

A spinal tap, also called a lumbar puncture, uses a needle to draw fluid that surrounds your spinal cord for an exam. The test can rule out infections such as meningitis or encephalitis as the cause of epileptic seizures. A spinal tap may also be done to:

  • Measure the pressure around the brain and spinal cord
  • Relieve pressure in the head
  • Give spinal anesthesia
  • Inject dye for an X-ray diagnostic test
  • Inject medications (such as baclofen)

From: Epilepsy and the Spinal Tap WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. 

Cedars-Sinai.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 05, 2018

SOURCES: 

Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. 

Cedars-Sinai.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 05, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What are side effects and risks of a spinal tap?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.