You usually will be asked to lie flat for about one hour after the lumbar puncture is completed. This helps reduce the incidence of a headache. You will be allowed to roll from side to side as long as your head is not elevated. If you need to urinate, you may be asked to urinate in a bedpan or urinal during the time that you are required to stay flat.
You will be asked to drink additional fluids to rehydrate after the procedure. This replaces the CSF that was withdrawn during the spinal tap and reduces the chance of developing a headache.
When you have completed the recovery period, you may be taken to your hospital room (if the procedure was performed elsewhere in the hospital) or discharged to your home. If you go home, usually your doctor will advise you to only engage in very light activity the rest of the day.
You may be instructed to limit your activity for 24 hours following the procedure. Generally, if no complications occur, you may return to your normal diet and activities.
Your doctor may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation