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Lumbar Puncture

Lumbar Puncture - What it is

What is lumbar puncture?

It is a minor bedside procedure to collect a sample of fluid that surrounds the spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF)). A thin, hollow needle is inserted into your lower back and CSF is withdrawn. The point of insertion would be made numb with a local anaesthetic agent to minimise pain. You are conscious throughout the procedure.

A lumbar puncture is performed to:

  • Examine your spinal fluid for signs of infection e.g. meningitis (an infection of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord
  • Detect bleeding in the space around the brain that is not detected by a computered tomography (CT) scan
  • Detect an increase or reduction in intracranial pressure
  • Diagnose inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord such as multiple sclerosis in Guillain-Barre syndrome

​Is this a common procedure?

Yes. From a medical point of view, it is a relatively simple procedure yet a powerful diagnostic tool to help your doctor diagnose your condition and select the appropriate treatment. This procedure is usually done at your bedside, and in some instances at the x-ray department.

Lumbar Puncture - Symptoms

Lumbar Puncture - How to prevent?

Lumbar Puncture - Diagnosis

Lumbar Puncture - Post-surgery care

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth