A myelogram is an imaging study of the spinal canal. This fluid-filled space runs the length of the spine and protects the spinal cord. During the test, contrast fluid (a dye that can be seen on xrays) is injected into the spinal canal. Then, xrays are taken to visualize the spinal canal. A CT scan is also then done. A myelogram can show back problems such as disk damage and narrowing of the spinal canal.
A myelogram is useful in determining if there are any abnormalities in the spinal cord, subarchnoid space or any other structures as well as evaluate many different diseases including, but not limited to the following:
- Herniated discs (bulging discs that press on nerves and/ or the spinal cord)
- Tumors in the spinal cord or brain
- Inflammation or infection of tissues around the spinal cord and brain
- Spinal stenosis
- Anykylosing spondylitis (a disease that affects the spine and causes the bones to grow together)
- Bone spurs
- Arthritis and degenerative discs
- Do not take aspirin products 3-4 days prior to study.
- Do not take anti-depressants 24 hours prior to study.
- Please bring a list of medications to your appointment.
- Drink plenty of fluids prior to your test.
- No solid food may be eaten 4 hours prior to exam.
- Check in at registration at your schedule time. You will be taken to the procedure area when it is time for your test.
- You will wear a hospital gown during the test and should be completely covered.
- Follow the instructions given to you by the radiologist.
- Drink as much fluid as you can for 10-12 hours after the test to help get the dye out of your system.
- You will need someone to drive you home.
- Avoid strenuous activity, lifting and/or bending 10-12 hours after you go home.
- Keep head elevated at approximately 30 degrees for 8 hours.
- If you have a headache after your myelogram that is worse when you raise your head you should lie flat for 8 hours. You may take Extra-Strength Tylenol and drink plenty of fluids.
- Do not take Glucophage or Metphormin 24 hours after the myelogram.