After some procedures such as lumbar puncture, myleograms and occasionally spontaneously, patients can develop a leak of their spinal fluid into the surrounding tissues.
These leaks decrease the pressure in the spinal fluid and thus around the spine and head resulting in postural headaches. A postural headache is severe in the upright sitting or standing position and improved or even removed in the recumbent (lying down) position. If conservative therapy (rest, caffeine, analgesics) fails, a blood patch can be used to treat this condition.
Under sterile field, the physician removes blood from a vein in the arm and it is then transferred into the space around the spinal sac under fluoroscopic xray.
This blood will then and either primarily cover the leak and/or increase the pressure enough to stop the leak of fluid and allow the body’s natural repair process to occur.
This procedure, which takes only 15-30 minutes, is highly effective for these specific types of headaches.
Patient is advised to rest, drinks fluids and report and fever, redness or warmth at the injection site or any other adverse symptoms.