Myelography, also called a myelogram, is an imaging test that checks for problems in your spinal canal. The spinal canal contains your spinal cord, nerve roots, and the subarachnoid space. The subarachnoid space is a fluid-filled space between the spinal cord and the membrane that covers it. During the test, contrast dye is injected into the spinal canal. Contrast dye is a substance that makes specific organs, blood vessels, and tissue show up more clearly on an x-ray.
Myelogram involves using one of these two imaging procedures:
- Fluoroscopy, a type of x-ray that shows internal tissues, structures, and organs moving in real time.
- CT scan (computerized tomography), a procedure that combines a series of x-ray images taken from different angles around the body.
Myelogram is used for
Orthopedic Specialist at Shreya Hospital in Ghaziabad may suggest myelogram. Myelography is used to look for conditions and diseases that affect the nerves, blood vessels, and structures in the spinal canal. These include:
- Herniated disk. Spinal disks are rubbery cushions (disks) that sit between the bones of your spine. A herniated disk is a condition in which the disk bulges out and presses on spinal nerves or the spinal cord.
- Spinal stenosis, a condition that causes swelling and damage to the bones and tissues around the spinal cord. This leads to narrowing of the spinal canal.
- Infections, such as meningitis, that affect the membranes and tissues of the spinal cord
- Arachnoiditis, a condition that causes inflammation of a membrane that covers the spinal cord
Reason behind doing Myelography
You may need this test if you have symptoms of a spinal disorder, such as:
- Pain in the back, neck, and/or leg
- Tingling sensations
- Trouble walking
- Trouble with tasks that involve small muscle groups, such as buttoning a shirt
A myelogram is done at a radiology center or in the radiology department of the hospital. The procedure usually includes the following steps:
- You may need to remove your clothing. If so, you will be given a hospital gown.
- You will lie on your stomach on a padded x-ray table.
- Your provider will clean your back with an antiseptic solution.
- You will be injected with numbing medicine, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.
- Once the area is numb, your provider will use a thin needle to inject contrast dye into your spinal canal. You may feel some pressure when the needle goes in, but it should not hurt.
- Your provider may remove a sample of spinal fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) for testing.
- Your x-ray table will be tilted in different directions to allow the contrast dye to move to different areas of the spinal cord.
- Your provider will remove the needle.
- Your provider will capture and record images using fluoroscopy or a CT scan.
After the test, you may be monitored for one to two hours. You may also be advised to lie down at home for a few hours and to avoid strenuous activity for one to two days after the test.