What Is the Recovery Time for a Blood Patch after a Lumbar Puncture?

  • Medical Author:
    Standiford Helm II, MD

    Dr. Helm has been practicing interventional pain management since 1982. Dr. Helm is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology with subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine and of the American Board of Pain Medicine. Dr. Helm is a Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP), the only certifying agency which tests the ability to perform interventional pain procedures. Dr. Helm is also an examiner for FIPP.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

A Guide to Migraine Headaches

Ask the experts

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

Doctor's response

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.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCE:

"Overview of chronic daily headache"
UpToDate.com


Quick GuideMigraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment

Migraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Reviewed on 7/10/2017

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors