Lumbar Puncture

This test is used for accessing the spinal canal for different diagnosis and treatments.


  • X-rays of your spine will be taken.
  • Your lower back will be cleaned, covered with drapes and injected with a numbing medication.
  • A needle will be inserted into your spinal canal and a small amount of spinal fluid may be withdrawn.
  • Additional x-rays could be taken.
  • Additional testing may follow.
  • The procedure itself takes about one hour.


  • Arrive 45 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment with a prescription from your doctor.
  • You will need blood work (PT/PTT) prior to your test.
  • Bring a list of your current medications.
  • If you are currently taking any blood thinner (Coumadin, Aspirin, Lovenox, Plavix), you need to stop it four to five days prior to exam and inform your doctor.
  • Verify that ordering doctor wants radiologist to perform exam.
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