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Knowledge For Spinal Needle

November 14,2023

Spinal needles are used to inject analgesia and/or anaesthetic directly into the CSF usually at a point below the second lumbar vertebra.

Spinal needles enter the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) through the membranes surrounding the spinal cord.


● Specially designed to administer lumbar/ subarachnoid anesthesia.

● Clear polycarbonate hub offers easy visualization.

● Transparent hub provides rapid detection of Cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) flashback for confirming accurate placement.

● Sharp bevel design for low puncture force ensures minimal puncture trauma.

● Fine gauze needle design greatly reduces the risk of PDPH (Post Dura Puncture Headache).

● Conical tip imparts superior tactile feedback.

● High flow rate enables faster CSF flashback.

● Aggressive anesthetic distribution upon injection.

● Snugly fit stylet into the respective needle facilitates no tissue coring.

● Color coded stylet enables rapid size identification.

● Sterile, individually packed in peelable pouch.

Spinal needles vary in their design, usually regarding the tip geometry, but are fundamentally similar and usually come with a stylet and introducer needle. Larger spinal needles may not require an introducer.


There are 2 designs of spinal needle tip in use within Wales at present: the pencil point (on Whitacre and Sprotte needles) and the cutting tip on the Quinke (see below).


An introducer needle is used in some cases to stabilise the insertion of the needle and aid insertion through tough skin.  The needle and stylet are advanced towards the dura in the intevertebral space (the stylet stops tissue blocking the needle during insertion). An introducer needle is used in some cases to stabilise the insertion of the needle. Once through the dura and in position, the introducer is removed and the removal of the stylet enables CSF to flow into the needle hub.  CSF can be collected for diagnostic purposes or a syringe may be connected to the spinal needle to inject anaesthetic agents or chemotherapy agents.

Whilst Quinke needles tend to cut through the dura (the tough outer membrane), pencil point designs such as the Sprotte and Whitacre are designed to part the fibres of the dura rather than cut them, minimising damage to the dura fibres and reducing the risk of post-dural puncture headaches.