A CT myelogram is a two-part procedure performed to detect abnormalities including a tumor, herniated disc, arthritis, spinal narrowing and/or nerve impingement of the spinal canal.
A CT myelogram typically takes about an hour - 30 minutes for the injection procedure and 30 minutes for the CT scan.
During the first part of a CT myelogram, contrast is injected into your spinal canal under x-ray guidance. The contrast material serves to illuminate your spinal canal, cord and nerve roots during imaging. After the injection, x-rays will be taken using the fluoroscopy machine.
The second part is a CT exam to capture images of your spine. The images obtained from the CT scan provide greater detail about the internal structure of the spinal canal.
Your images will be interpreted by one of our board-certified radiologists. The findings will be sent to your healthcare provider who will then contact you to discuss the results.
Unless directed otherwise, you may resume your normal diet and prescribed medications. You should have someone stay with you for 12 hours after the procedure. Rest for the remainder of the day. It is recommended that you lay flat in bed with your head slightly elevated for the rest of the day to reduce the risk of getting a post myelogram headache. Do not return to work until the following day. Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 24 hours after the procedure.
You may feel soreness at the needle insertion site for 2-3 days. You can use an ice pack for up to 15 minutes per hour to relieve any discomfort.
As with any procedure involving a needle, there is a small chance of infection or bleeding. Rarely there could be neural injury, headache, temporary numbness, weakness or facial flushing.