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Like with most tests, there are a few minor risks:

Call your doctor right away if you notice unusual drainage or pain that gets worse.

  • About 10% of people get a spinal headache -- one that gets worse when you sit or stand and better when you lie down. If you get one, lie down and drink fluids.
  • Infection. But the risk is very low.
  • Sometimes the procedure may pierce a small blood vessel, so blood mixes with the fluid. You may need another spinal tap to get a "clear" sample.
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