What: A myelogram may be used to determine the cause of arm or leg numbness, weakness or pain. It looks for narrowing of the spinal canal, spinal stenosis, spinal tumors or infection, herniated discs, inflammation of the membrane surrounding the spinal cord and brain, and problems with blood vessels to the spine. It allows study of the spinal canal, nerve roots and spinal cord by injection of contrast solution into the spinal canal.
What to expect: During the study, you will lie on a motorized X-ray table that can be tilted up or down. You will lie on your stomach and your back will be marked with a pen where the puncture will occur. The area will be sterilized. The sterilizing solution may feel cool or cold. Once the needle is in place, the Radiologist’s Assistant will inject the contrast solution and take X-rays. After the myelogram, you will receive a CT scan to get more detailed cross-sectional images of your spine, which will be used in conjunction with the X-rays. After the procedure, you can expect to remain in the X-ray department for up to one hour to minimize the chance of having a headache and to give your body a chance to replace the fluid that was drawn.
- Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your exam time.
- With approval from your doctor or provider, discontinue use of blood thinners such as Coumadin or aspirin as directed by the Radiologist’s Assistant.
- Arrange for a family member or friend to accompany you. We require you to have a driver before being discharged.
- Do not eat 4 hours prior to exam; take clear liquids only. Continue medications as prescribed except for blood thinners, as noted above.