This is an imaging test that uses a special contrast material to view the spinal cord. The contrast material used in the x-ray can help your doctor clearly outline the space containing the spinal cord and nerves.
Reasons for Procedure
This is used to detect problems in and around the spinal cord such as:
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Short-term numbness of the legs or lower back pain
- Allergic reaction to the contrast
- Inflamed or infected spinal cord
What to Expect
Call Your Doctor
It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Leakage of fluid from the puncture site
- Headache lasting more than 24 hours
- Excessive nausea or vomiting
- Neck stiffness
- Numbness in your legs
- Trouble urinating or moving your bowels
- Symptoms of allergic reaction such as hives, itching, nausea, swollen or itchy eyes, tight throat, or difficulty breathing
- New or unexpected symptoms
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam and medical history
- Ask if you are pregnant—this test is not usually done on women who are pregnant
- Ask about your medical history
- Determine if you have any allergies
Leading up to your procedure:
- The night before, do not eat solid foods after midnight. You should continue to drink liquids.
- If your doctor prescribes a sedative:
- Arrange to have someone drive you home. Also, arrange for someone to help you at home.
- Take the sedative before the exam as directed by your doctor.
- You may have to stop certain medications up to a week before the procedure.
- Lumbar disk herniation. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116077/Lumbar-disk-herniation .
- Lumbar spinal stenosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114133/Lumbar-spinal-stenosis .
- Myelogram. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/orthopaedic/myelogram_92,P07670.
- Myelography. Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America website. Available at: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=myelography&bhcp=1.
- EBSCO Medical Review Board
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