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It may be done for diagnostic purposes to determine the pressure within the cerebrospinal cavities, to determine presence of an obstruction to flow of cerebrospinal fluid, to remove a specimen of cerebrospinal fluid for laboratory examination, or to inject air or other contrast medium into the spinal canal to take an x-ray of the cerebrospinal system.
The patient is positioned so that the knees and head are flexed as much as possible and is assisted in maintaining this position during the entire procedure. A local anesthetic is injected subcutaneously to anesthetize the skin and underlying tissues. The patient should be warned not to move suddenly and told there may be a slight feeling of pressure when the puncture needle is inserted.
Strict adherence to the rules of aseptic technique is necessary to avoid the possibility of introducing microorganisms into the spinal canal. The attendant may be asked to assist in the Queckenstedt test during the lumbar puncture. This test involves compression of the veins of the neck, first on one side, then on the other and finally on both sides at once. The cerebrospinal fluid pressure is measured each time the veins are compressed. This test determines whether there is an obstruction in the spinal canal. Care must be taken that the trachea is not constricted while the neck veins are being compressed.
After the procedure the patient is observed for signs of pulse changes, respiratory difficulty, or cyanosis. These rarely occur, but headache is common and may be partially relieved by keeping the patient flat in bed for 8 hours after the procedure. An ice cap and aspirin may help alleviate the discomfort.
lum·bar(lŭm'bar), Avoid the misspelling lumber.
lumbar/lum·bar/ (lum´bar) pertaining to the loins.
lumbaradjective Referring to the lower back.
lumbarRelating to the LOINS and lower back.
Patient discussion about lumbar
Q. I have a low back pain that radiates to my leg when i pick up stuff. Is it a disc herniation? I am a 43 years old bank teller. During the past 5 months I've suffered from a low back pain. The pain is not very strong, but it gets much worse while doing physical activity. When i walk or lift heavy things the pain is even stronger, and it radiates to my left leg. Can it be signs for disc herniation?
90% or more of herniated discs resolve without surgical treatment within 6 months. MRI imaging is generally only indicated if one is considering surgery; in other words, your pain and neurological status is such that surgery is clinically indicated. Then, an MRI may be helpful for the surgeon. If surgery is not indicated based on clinical/symptoms, then it probably is unwise to get an MRI. They often show abnormalities that are simply 'red herrings' and often prompt people to proceed with surgery that really is not needed. Beware!
Q. What is the best way to strengthen the low back muscles? After having a low back strain I've been told I need to work better on the lower back muscles as too much stress is on them and they're not strong enough to handle it...any suggestions?
Q. I have developed a low back pain from some heavy lifting over the weekend. What tests in the doctor's office can I expect to confirm this. And what should the treatment be. I suspect a sacriliac strain.