Lumbar Epidural Blood Patch
A Lumbar Epidural Blood Patch involves injecting a small amount of the patient’s own blood into the epidural space of the spine. The epidural space is the region surrounding the dura mater, a protective membrane covering the spinal cord and nerve roots. By introducing blood into this area, we aim to seal potential leaks of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and provide relief from certain painful conditions.
What Can it Treat?
LEBP is primarily used to treat patients experiencing persistent headaches, neck pain, and lower back pain due to cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Such leaks can arise from various sources, including spinal taps, epidural anesthesia procedures, or spontaneous leaks, which can lead to a condition called spinal CSF hypovolemia. These leaks can cause discomfort, as well as debilitating headaches known as post-dural puncture headaches (PDPH). LEBP offers an effective solution for these cases. Occasionally, a blood patch is indicated to diagnose or treat low pressure CSF, a rare condition.
How is it Administered?
During the actual procedure, the patient will lie on their stomach or side, and the skin around the lower back will be cleaned and numbed with a local anesthetic. A small amount of the patient’s blood is then drawn from a vein, usually in the arm. Next, using fluoroscopy guidance, I will carefully inject the blood into the epidural space in the lumbar region of the spine. The blood forms a clot that seals the leak, reducing the symptoms caused by the CSF leak.
What are the Risks?
As with any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with Lumbar Epidural Blood Patch. However, it is essential to understand that serious complications are rare. Potential risks include infection at the injection site, bleeding, nerve injury, and a small chance of a temporary increase in back or leg pain. I will thoroughly assess each patient’s medical history and health status before proceeding to minimize these risks.
If you or a loved one is suffering from persistent headaches, neck pain, or lower back pain that could be associated with cerebrospinal fluid leaks, Lumbar Epidural Blood Patch might be the answer you’ve been searching for. Don’t let pain hold you back any longer. Take action and schedule an appointment with Dr. Edward Rubin by calling our Pain Management Center.