A myelogram is a relatively safe, special x-ray examination of the spinal cord and canal. A liquid contrast medium (a special dye), injected into the spinal canal, makes these structures visible on a flouroscope screen and x-ray film. Myelograms are used to diagnose disc problems, spinal tumors or spinal abscesses, which are rare.

  • Premedication may make you feel drowsy and relaxed.
  • You will wear a gown during the examination.
  • The physician and a technician will be in the room with you. You will be asked to stand or lie on your abdomen or side during the procedure.
  • After cleaning you lower back with a cooling antiseptic, the doctor inserts a needle, then local anesthetic, which may sting.
  • When this area is numb, a contrast medium is injected through another needle into the spinal canal, sometimes causing pressure.
  • X-ray films are taken. You may be asked to asume different positions or tilt your head downward. You also may be tilted downward by the table, which can be uncomfortable.
  • You may feel some discomfort and have a minor headache.

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