Epidural Blood Patch
What is the purpose of an epidural blood patch?
The purpose of an epidural blood patch is to patch the leak in the dura – one of the layers that protect the spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid. Severe and prolonged post-dural puncture headaches usually resolve immediately with an epidural blood patch.
When an epidural blood patch may be recommended?
The epidural space is outside the spinal cord and nerves. Some patients, after a spinal injection or spinal tap, develop a headache with pain that may be moderate to incapacitating. The medical term for this type of headache is post dural puncture headache.
How does headache develop?
This type of headache can develop after an epidural steroid injection, spinal tap, labor epidural, or following surgery. Characteristic of this headache is it resolves when you lay down and resumes when standing or sitting upright. Although the headache may resolve in a week or less, a small percent linger for weeks or months.
It is a rare when a blood patch does not end the post dural puncture headache. Should that occur, the epidural blood patch may be repeated or the diagnosis of post dural puncture headache questioned.
To Learn More
If you are interested in an evaluation into the cause of your pain, please contact our pain management experts at The Spine and Pain Institute of New York in Manhattan, New York and Staten Island, New York. We would be happy to make an appointment for a consultation and provide additional information about other treatment options.