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Headaches can be incredibly debilitating, and when leakage of spinal fluid causes them, they are known as spinal headaches. Fortunately, there is a treatment option available called an epidural blood patch that can effectively manage these types of headaches.

So, what exactly is an epidural blood patch? It is a surgical procedure that involves injecting blood into the epidural space of the spinal area. This injection closes the opening through which the spinal fluid leaks, providing fast and effective relief from headaches.

An epidural blood patch is typically offered to patients who experience spinal headaches after procedures such as a lumbar puncture. During a lumbar puncture, a small hole is made in the lining of the spinal cord to collect cerebrospinal fluid for analysis. Usually, this hole closes on its own after the procedure. However, in some cases, the hole may leak fluid, resulting in a spinal headache. In such situations, an epidural blood patch may be recommended.

The procedure itself involves using the patient’s blood. A small amount of blood is drawn from their veins and then injected into the epidural space near the lumbar puncture site or the hole’s location. The injected blood clots increase pressure in the area and effectively seal the hole, preventing further fluid leakage and relieving the headache.

The procedure is relatively quick; most patients can go home the same day after a short observation period. However, patients must lie flat on their backs for a few hours following the procedure to promote healing.

While the epidural blood patch is generally safe, it’s important to note that injecting blood into a space where it does not belong can cause mild back pain or leg pain as an irritant. However, the risk of infection is low as the procedure is performed under sterile conditions.

Patients’ reports of effectiveness have varied. However, in many cases, spinal headaches have been effectively resolved following an epidural blood patch. This treatment can often help patients avoid the need for surgery.

The specialists at Columbia Pain Management understand how to diagnose and treat various headache conditions. We offer a wide range of conservative and surgical treatment options, and we work closely with each patient to develop a personalized care plan that meets their unique needs and goals. Contact us today at 503-654-5636 or 541-205-0173 to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards finding relief and reclaiming your active lifestyle.