I had Gamma Knife 7 months ago for my unruptured AVM treatment. Last week, I experienced the worst headache ever, so I went to the ER so they could rule-out a bleed. They did a CT scan which was clear. Then, the doctor said the only way to be absolutely sure that there was no bleed, was to do a spinal tap (lumbar puncture).
I did not have any problems during the procedure and I lay flat for 1 hour after. However, the next day is when the pain started. I have lots of head pain and pressure when standing or being upright, also with nausea. I also have pain in my hips and lower back (but not at the puncture site) that comes and goes. My ears also feel clogged and I have ringing in them. It's been 5 days now.
So, my question is- has anyone had a spinal tap that resulted in these or similar symptoms? If so, how long did they take to go away? Do you think this means my spinal fluid is leaking? Also, I have read that the treatment to patch the leak is called a Blood Patch, but I have read about some bad side effects of this. Has anyone had a good/bad experience with a blood patch treatment?
Thank you for any and all responses! I am getting worried about what I should do with this persistent new pain.
Carrie, Chicago IL
I had a spinal block with a csection to deliver my third child. I woke up the next morning with a horrible headache and couldn't even stand up to go to the restroom. They ran two caffeine IV bags to see if that would help it go away. It just got worse! The next morning I had to have a blood patch done. By the end of the day, I was back to normal with no complications whatsoever. Everyone is different, but if your spine is leaking you need to see your doctor.
When my cm made its announcement, I describe the headache I had as being as bad as my spinal headache. That is the only thing that I could relate it to being like.
Hope this helps,
I do know that headaches can definitely occur after a spinal tap. If you're not getting better by now it's absolutely time to call your doctor. You'll want to make sure that there were no complications from the procedure.
I had a spinal tap w/ my 1st bleed in 1988 & it caused the WORST headache I've ever had!!! I remember the headache lasted for several days, but I was in a 'fog' back then.
I hope you feel better soon, but if not be sure to check w/ your drs. :)
I had a lot of spinal taps, and they terrified me as a kid. Sometime the headaches were horrible afterwards. Sometimes not.