Open all pages about Lumbar puncture
A lumbar puncture may be done to find out why you’re having certain symptoms, to treat some conditions, or to give an anaesthetic.
During a lumbar puncture, a needle is inserted into your lower back so fluid can be taken for testing, or so you can have treatment or anaesthetic.
It can take a few days to recover from a lumbar puncture. You should rest for 24 hours afterwards and drink plenty of fluids.
Side effects of a lumbar puncture can include a headache, back pain, bleeding or fluid leaking from where the needle went into your back, and swelling
Complications of a lumbar puncture are rare but can include long-term back pain, infection, nerve damage or blood clots.
If you’re having a lumbar puncture to find out if you have a condition, you should get your results in a few days, but it can take a few weeks.
A lumbar puncture is where a needle is inserted into your lower back between the bones in your spine.
Page last reviewed: 14/11/2023
Next review due: 14/11/2026