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Lumbar puncture with migraine anyone??

So here is my story. Im 40 yr old female with history occasional migraines. April 15th migraine visit to the ER thinking ok this happened in Feb it will go away. April 16th visit to Er facial swelling tingling ringing in ears left sided body tingling this is scary CT scan normal they admit with of course the migrain coctail of drugs mri next day normal discharged the next night. A week later still with migraine pain 8/9 visit eye dr because blurry vision too everything clear. Ok back home more sleep primary MD next day not in office see a NP leave crying migraine 10 of course from that back to bed. Get into migraine speciailist neurologist she starts me on Topamax, and does nerve block that does nothing get Imitrex injection nothing, next up 5 days IV home infusion magnesium coctail nothing, next up 3 days IM Toradol nothing. This morning 1 month after my first ER visit Im getting a lumbar puncture and more labs. Anyone have a LP while having a migraine? I know side effects from LP are headace I just can't imagine.

  1. I've had a lumbar puncture with a migraine. If there are no complications from it, you shouldn't have any side effects. When I had it, the LP didn't seal correctly and caused a spinal fluid leak, which worsened my headache. The way to tell if this happens is if you lie flat, the headache goes away or goes back to your normal migraine. The second you sit upright, the pain increases. It's an easy fix. An anesthesiologist has to draw blood from your arm and inject it into your spine to patch the hole. Thankfully, I was made aware of this possible complication ahead of time, so I knew what was happening. However, the small-town ER I went to had no one on staff late at night who could perform the blood patch, so I had to make other arrangements.

    I'm not trying to scare you. It really wasn't a huge deal. But if I hadn't been aware of it beforehand, it could have been scary. I hope you're able to get some relief soon.


    1. I had a LP during a well 10+ migraine. The results came back with blood in the spinal fluid - which at the time they couldn't determine if it was a bad LP or something more serious. While at the time I thought there was no way my headache could get worse - when I woke the next morning - the spinal headache I experienced was like unleashing a pain on my head that I never could imagine.
      I would seriously question - why a LP is necessary - As I've bounced in and out of hospitals they have wanted to do them again. The tap was bad on my first one, and caused the blood leak and ultra severe headache (as if I didn't already heave one).
      If you move forward I would make sure you had a plan in place for pain management - and false results.

  2. Mich75,
    I've personally never had a lumbar puncture so I can't tell you first hand. (Thanks Kaci for sharing how yours went!). I've included a few articles that may help you to prepare. I'm so sorry you're in so much pain and I hope they get to the bottom of this soon and you get relief. Keep in mind a lumbar puncture is done typically to rule out any other medical issues. It can be disappointing if the test shows nothing, but I'm sure your doctor will have a few other ideas to help you. Let us know how it goes!

    -Katie Moderator

    1. Ive had a traumatic spinal tap with severe leak in past. Had to have blood patch for it after several weeks. Worst headache of my life. That was 17 years ago I recently had another one and the spinal relieved my headache and ear ringing temporarily.

      1. I had a lumbar puncture (guided by imaging) with no I'll effects. It was normal so it really helped to rule out any of those related causes. I would recommend being extremely picky about your DR

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