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Thread: A Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap) for a Scoliotic?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Nescopeck, Luzerne County, PA

    A Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap) for a Scoliotic?

    I had a spinal fusion in the thoracic region (1 lumbar vertebra affected) waaay back in 1960 at age 10, and it has served me very well, but nothing comes with a lifetime guarantee, and at age 69, a couple of problems are turning up. Some (lumbosacral spondylosis and hemiatrophy) are undoubtedly scoliosis-related, but others might not be.

    I began to experience balance and mobility issues about a year and a half ago, and hospitalization after an auto accident (treated by a different hospital) revealed a swollen ventricle on my brain stem; a neurological evaluation revealed neuropathy, particularly in my feet, (partially addressable by an ankle brace), but results of an EMG were inconclusive. A shunt to drain the excess fluid has also been suggested, and I can understand the rationale here (the ventricular issue was largely ignored after the accident until it resurfaced last week).

    But I was more than a little suprised when a representative from the neurology department called me earlier this week, pushing (aggressively) to schedule a lumbar puncture. Supposedly, this would eliminate some other possibilities, such as Parkinson's disease, but several friends and relatives with some degree of peripheral medical exposure (pharmacy, physical therapy, veterinary) have advised me that they don't see too much of a connection and, while I've done some research and the pain might not be that intense, the possibility that my spine is far from normally-positioned probably increases the risk of an "unpleasant" (?) mistake in this case. I'm also told that each department has a tendency to over-recommend its own tests and procedures, whether absolutely essential or not.

    So I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has dealt with this procedure after a spinal fusion.
    Last edited by Eddie Sand; 04-05-2019 at 02:41 PM.

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