Myelography Background: A myelogram is a special spinal X-ray examination used to help determine the cause of pain, numbness and

/or weakness in the back, arms or legs. During the test, a contrast medium (also referred to as contrast material) is injected into the spinal canal under X-ray guidance to provide an outline of the spinal cord and nerve roots. A series of X-ray films are taken.

Prep of the patient:

Patients should be well-hydrated at the time they are undergoing a myelogram. Increasing fluids the day before the study is usually recommended. All food and fluid intake should be stopped approximately four hours before the procedure.

Certain medications may need to be stopped for one to two days before myelography is performed. These include some antipsychotics, antidepressants, blood thinners, and diabetic

Immediately before the examination. During the X-rays. to help eliminate the contrast material and prevent headaches. Nursing care after procedure: After the examination is complete. Patients should discuss this with their physician or the staff at the facility where the study is to be done. with the head elevated. This sometimes causes pressure. A regular diet and routine medications may be resumed. Patients who smoke may be asked to stop the day before the test. may be discouraged for one or two days. This helps decrease the chance of nausea or headaches after the myelogram. severe headache. a local anesthetic will be administered. patients should empty their bowels and bladder. When the area is numb. or tilt your head downward. especially those that involve bending over. which may be uncomfortable. You will be asked to lie on your abdomen or side during the procedure. You may feel some discomfort or have a minor headache.medications. you may be asked to assume different positions. The physician should be notified if the patient develops a fever. Strenuous physical activities. excessive nausea and vomiting. You may also be tilted downward by the table. After cleaning your back with an antiseptic. During the test:        You will wear a hospital gown during the examination. . the patient usually rests for several hours. or a stiff neck. a contrast material is injected into the spinal canal. Extra fluids are encouraged. The needle is removed once the contrast material has been injected.

A normal myelogram shows nerves that appear normal. with no areas of constriction or obstruction. Abnormal results A myelogram may reveal a herniated disk. and a spinal canal of normal width. bone spurs. . or narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis). tumor.