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Multiple Sclerosis Message Board

Multiple Sclerosis Board Index

Re: Need Advice
May 24, 2010
A spinal tap is not always necessary. For me, it was the very last test and it was negative. I had a second one 20 years later and it was still negative. The LP is not 100% effective. Of those who are diagnosed with MS and who also had an LP, 15% have negative test results.

Should you get an LP, sometimes it is necessary in order to push the medical establishment off the proverbial fence and allow you to have a definitive diagnosis. The LP is useful in checking off many diseases which can present with MS like symptoms, but a good doctor can diagnose without the LP. The VEP is a recognized piece of evidence if you need to get disability. After my MRI and VEP there was a second MRI of my thoracic spine which confirmed active lesions.

No single test provides a diagnosis for MS. Doctors arrive at MS when all other possibilities have been ruled out. For some this process is quickly completed, for others it takes time due to the difficulty of getting positive test results. Others experience delays in getting a doctor to step up and say with certainty that you have MS. Some of this, I believe, is the result of our litigious society.

The LP probably causes more stress than any other test. Do not let it frighten you. If you need one done, come back to the boards and you will find much encouragement. In 1982 I had to be hospitalized to have an LP, nowadays with the advent of the light bulb ;), the procedure is done in the doctor's office. Believe me, the doctor's office is easier than it was in 1982!! :angel:

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