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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Myelogram, also called myelography (mie-LOG-rah-fe), is an x-ray procedure to examine the spinal canal. This is done using a contrast material (dye). The spinal canal contains the spinal cord, which carries messages between your brain and your body, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a clear fluid that also flows around the brain. The spine is formed of vertebrae (small bones) that are stacked on one another with soft discs in between bones. Myelogram is usually done to diagnose a slipped disc, tumor, or problems causing a block in CSF flow. It may be used to check the spine after surgery or in patients with a slow wearing away of the bones. This procedure may not be done if you bleed easily.
- During a myelogram, dye is injected into the spinal canal and x-ray pictures of the spine are taken. The dye may be made of oil or water. Dye made of water can be absorbed by the body. This helps caregivers see the structures in your spine, such as nerves, spinal cord, discs, and bones better. The dye is usually put in the lower back area. Less often, the dye is given in the neck area of the spine.
- Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
- Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
Adults should drink about 9 to 13 cups of liquid each day. One cup is 8 ounces. Good choices of liquids for most people include water, juice, and milk. Coffee, soup, and fruit may be counted in your daily liquid amount. Ask your caregiver how much liquid you should drink each day.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You feel anxious or irritable.
- You have a headache or nausea that does not go away with rest and medicine.
- You have severe (bad) pain in your back or neck.
- You have bleeding or a discharge coming from the area where the needle was put into your back.
- You have questions or concerns about your procedure or medicine.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have a headache that is very bad and does not get better.
- You have a fever.
- You have a stiff neck or have trouble thinking clearly.
- Your legs, feet, or other parts below the waist feel numb, tingly, or weak.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.