A myelogram is an invasive diagnostic test that uses x-rays to examine the spinal canal. A special dye is injected into the spinal canal through a hollow needle. An x-ray fluoroscope then records the images formed by the dye. Myelograms can show conditions affecting the spinal cord and nerves within the spinal canal.
Who needs this procedure?
Patients suffering from herniated disks, bone spurs, spinal stenosis, tumors, or infection may benefit from myelogram.
During the Procedure
A radiology technician will position you for the procedure. Then, the injection site will be numbed with a local anesthetic. next, a needle is inserted into the spinal canal. A small amount of cerebrospinal fluid is extracted for testing. The physician will administer a contrast dye through the spinal canal, allowing x-ray images to be taken of the spine. The patient will then be instructed to remain still while the x-rays are being taken. Often, patients will have CT scans conducted following the myelogram.
After the Procedure
Once the procedure is over and CT scans have been taken, the patient is taken in for observation for 4-8 hours with their head raised. Once the patient is released, a friend or family member may drive them home.