During an epidural blood patch (EBP), a small volume of autologous blood is injected into a patient’s epidural space to stop a leak of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). A CSF leak may lead to a post-dural puncture headache (PDPH), also known as a spinal headache.
Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear, colorless fluid found in the brain and spinal cord. CSF helps protect the central nervous system by acting like a cushion against sudden impact or injury to the brain or spinal cord.
Signs of a spinal headache include:
Spinal headaches are often accompanied by the following symptoms:
Spinal headaches are caused by a leak of cerebrospinal fluid through a puncture hole in the tough membrane that surrounds the spinal cord.
A spinal headache typically appears within 48 hours after a spinal tap or spinal anesthesia.
Another potential cause of spinal headaches is epidural anesthesia. During the procedure, the membrane may be unintentionally punctured and lead to a spinal headache.