Lumbar puncture - Definition

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A lumbar puncture is a medical procedure consisting of extracting cerebrospinal fluid from the spine by inserting a hollow needle between two vertebra at the base of the back. This procedure is conducted in order to analyze the cerebrospinal fluid, which immerses the brain and spinal cord. It is possible to carry out a lumbar puncture with local anesthetic to the area, and this procedure is of great diagnostic importance, notably allowing for the detection of bacteria, viruses, or other abnormal cells or components, and is particularly necessary for diagnosing meningitis. Headaches can sometimes occur in the two to three days following this procedure.