Please NO lumbar puncture :(


Ive been ill on and off for around 5 years now, nearly lost a previous job due to frequent sick leave.
Symptoms are: Fatigue (ALOT!) Dizzyness - sometimes so bad I cant stand and vomitting, generally just feeling unwell all of the time and most recently loosing sensation and a very ‘heavy’ right hand arm and leg.

Im sick of being told its just a virus or depression!

Finally 2 weeks ago when I lost the feeling in my side (my family thought I was having a stoke!) I got admitted to hospital and sent for an MRI. Yesterday I got the results from my Dr - Inflamatory changes in several spots in my brain that arnt typical MS but can be connected to it so its either, still a virus! or with further investigation maybe MS.

In the meantime ive been off work 4 weeks and just given another 6 (and I wont get paid?!)
and now being referrred to a Neurologist and she said they will probably repeat the MRI to see if theres any changes and do a Lumbar Pucture - That TERRIFIES ME! Do you really really have to have one to get a diagnosis?!? I dont mind if it take longer…I just really cant deal with that after the last few months ive had…

BTW im 25.

Any advice please! x

I didn’t have one for diagnosis but I did have very typical MS relapses and also demylenation on MRI in a few locations so I could be diagnosed without the LP.

However, although I was really grateful to avoid it, at that stage I would have had one just to get some answers.

I’ve never had one so can’t comment on what it’s like though but I’m sure some others can.

I’m another one who didn’t have one, but I did have to wait longer (about six months longer, for a 2nd scan to show new activity).

Also, like Meme, I was fortunate that the evidence I did have was fairly compelling, so it wasn’t strictly necessary to have a LP, just to confirm. My neuro still would have liked to do one - most of them do - but the NICE guidelines don’t say it’s essential, and it really depends on the quality of the other evidence.


Hi Lollipop, I had an LP which confirmed my diagnosis and despite a lot of people’s fears they are not at all bad. Why not consider it as it does not take all that long and really doesn’t hurt? Teresa xx


I’m with Teresa - I had an LP to confirm the diagnosis and found it actually better than having an MRI!


Hello and welcome :slight_smile:

As the others have said, an LP isn’t essential, but having one can make things very much quicker, especially if the MRI isn’t conclusive.

I’m wondering if hearing from others who were scared of the LP, but found it fine, would help you? The procedure has been improved over the years and most people have no problems after it. There have been a number of threads about LPs on here so you may find some posts about personal experiences if you search.

Unfortunately, a diagnosis won’t make the current attack go away any quicker though :frowning:

Hopefully it’ll be a short one. Rest lots and be kind to yourself; avoid stress(!) and don’t overdo things if you have “better” moments - wait till the better moments join up to become better days.

Karen x

I had a LP a few weeks ago. All I can say is if you are in a position to rest, it will make all the difference. You need to stay as flat as possible to avoid the terrible headaches.

I have a 9 month old baby so this wasn’t an option and I did pay the price.

Now the actual LP was a piece of cake, it’s just the after effects you need to try to avoid x

Hi If its any reassurance my LP was no bother at all and I was absolutely fine afterwards too. Xx

Hi, my lumbar puncture was no bother at all. At the end of the day you want them to get the correct diagnosis as quickly as possible so that you can get the correct treatment.

Take Care

Moyna x

Hi I had an LP last year and can honestly say I was not looking forward to it after reading some comments, but I found it painless I think the needle is so fine now it makes such a difference. I even said to the doctor who did mine I cannot believe its all over never felt a thing but she did say I talked all the way through it probably nerves unfortunately or not my LP was clear brain scan was not and have arthritis in spine which makes diagnosis even more difficult according to the neuro so it did not help me with diagnosis. I also recently watch a tv programme and little boy 3 years old having an LP and he was neither up nor down. Good luck


I was dreading my lumber puncture as a friend had a bad experience. Hers was nearly 20 years ago however and I do think the horror stories linger. Even being quite tense beforehand, the actual procedure was quick, painless and left no after effects. Oh, apart from a confirmed diagnosis that is. :frowning: