Lumbar puncture lying down - image description

This illustration shows a person having a lumbar puncture, which involves lying on one side with the knees drawn up to the chest. After cleaning the area of the skin over the lower spine with antiseptic, local anaesthetic is injected to numb the area.

A hollow needle is then inserted between two of the spinal bones and into the spinal canal. If you're having intrathecal chemotherapy, the drugs will be given into the fluid around the spinal cord during the lumbar puncture.