A myelogram is a procedure that can detect spinal column abnormalities including a tumor, a herniated disc or arthritis, spinal narrowing and/or nerve impingement. It can also aid in surgery planning.
A myelogram will take approximately 30 minutes.
You will be positioned on your stomach on an x-ray table. The fluoroscopy camera will be positioned above you. The area to be injected will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution. Local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area.
A small needle will be placed into your spinal canal, and a sample of fluid may be taken. Next a small amount of x-ray contrast material is injected through the needle. After the injection, x-rays will be taken using the fluoroscopy machine.
In some cases, a CT scan will be performed after the myelogram, which will take another 30 minutes. The images obtained from the CT scan provide greater detail about the internal structure of the spinal canal.
A summary of the procedure 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. For the remainder of the day, rest with your head slightly elevated 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 up to 15 minutes per hour to relieve any discomfort.