Normal Lumbar Puncture

You have had a lumbar puncture. This test is also called a spinal tap. Your test results were normal. This means that you don't have any sign of infection or any other problem in your spinal fluid.

Home care

Follow these tips when caring for yourself at home:

  • Once at home, rest as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • You may develop a headache that will normally go away on its own in 1 to 2 days. Lying down should help relieve this pain.

  • Try to drink lots of fluids to prevent headache, unless you are on fluid restriction due to a medical problem.

  • You may also use acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief, unless another medicine was prescribed. Talk with your healthcare provider before taking these medicines if you have chronic liver or kidney disease. Also talk with your provider if you’ve had a stomach ulcer or digestive tract bleeding. Don’t give aspirin or medicine that contains aspirin to a child younger than age 19 unless directed by your child’s provider. Taking aspirin can put your child at risk for Reye syndrome. This is a rare but very serious disorder. It most often affects the brain and the liver.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. 

When to get medical care

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Head or neck pain that doesn't go away or that gets worse

  • You feel less alert or have trouble waking up

  • Repeated upset stomach (nausea) or vomiting

  • Swelling, pain, bruising, or redness at the puncture site

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as advised by your provider

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