Pain Management Q&A by Dr. Helm

How long is the recovery time for a blood patch after a lumbar puncture?

Answer:

An epidural blood patch is an effective treatment for headaches occurring after a lumbar puncture. The common clinical impression is that total relief from the headache is immediate. There are some studies suggesting that pain relief may increase over the next several days. In a very small percentage of cases, the headache can recur, and the blood patch may need to be repeated. Complications include slight back pain, stiffness in the neck and low grade fever, which should resolve within about a day after the procedure. Recovery from a blood patch is therefore quite quick.

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Last Editorial Review: 2/14/2007


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