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What is it?
- A myelogram (mi-uh-lo-gram) is also called myelography (mi-uh-lah-gruh-fee). It is when x-rays, CT scan pictures, or both, are taken of your spine.
- Your spine contains vertebrae (ver-tuh-bray), the spinal cord, and spinal fluid. Vertebrae are bones stacked on one another stretching from your neck to your tailbone. There is a disc (cushion) between each vertebrae. The spinal canal runs down through the center of these vertebrae. The spinal cord is inside the spinal canal. Nerves go from the brain through the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bathes, cushions, and protects the brain and spinal cord.
Why do you need it?
You may need a myelogram to check for one or more of the following problems.
- Ruptured (burst) disc.
- A tumor (lump or bump) in the area of the spine.
- Blockage of CSF flow.
- An IV may be put in a vein in your hand or arm to give medicine to help you relax. A needle is put between 2 vertebra in your back. Dye is put through the needle and into the spinal column. Tell your caregiver right away if you are allergic to shellfish or iodine because you may also be allergic to the dye. The dye is often called contrast. It helps areas of the spine show up better in the pictures. You may feel a heaviness or pressure when the dye is injected. Or, you may feel dizzy or nauseated (upset stomach), but this is rare.
- You will be asked to move into many different positions while x-ray pictures are taken. Then a CT scan is done. The LP, myelogram, and CT scan take about 1 to 2 hours. You may be asked to lie flat for a few hours after the myelogram. This helps lessen the chance of having a "spinal headache."
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.