A Myelogram is a special spinal x-ray exam to find what is causing headaches, numbness, or weakness in the back, arms, or legs. An IV contrast dye is also used to show an outline of the spinal cord and nerves. This test is often used in conjunction with MRI, CT, or a regular spinal x-ray.

How to Prepare:

  • Tell your doctor about any medicine you are taking, or if you have any of the following:
    • Pregnancy, or the possibility
    • Diabetes
    • Food or Drug Allergies
    • Previous reactions to contrast dye
    • Any other medical condition
  • You will need someone to drive you home afterward

What to Expect:

  • The radiologist and technician will be in the room with you during the procedure
  • You will be asked to wear a hospital gown and to remove clothing and jewelry
  • You will be asked to lie down on your abdomen
  • A local anesthetic will be given
  • When the area is numb, a contrast dye will be injected–you might feel some pressure
  • You might experience some minor pain and discomfort during the procedure
  • After the contrast is injected, the needle will be removed
  • X-rays will be taken at this point
  • You will then go to the CT area to have a CT scan done
  • Headache is a common side effect after the test

After the Myelogram:

  • You will be given instructions for self-care at home. Follow these carefully
  • Lie flat on your back for the rest of the day to help avoid headache
  • Drink plenty of fluids