View Full Version : CT Myelogram

06-29-2005, 09:34 PM
Hey Everyone!

I'm trying to find anyone who has had a test called a CT Myelogram. I just want to find out how much pain was involved (if any) or how long the procedure normally takes.

I've been looking at websites that just give you general information. However, I would feel more comfortable hearing it first hand.

Thank you!

06-29-2005, 11:17 PM
Crystal -
I just had a Myelogram and CT scan last week - they are two separate tests. Here's a definition of both from the Spine-Health website:

"A myelogram consists of injecting a radiographically opaque dye (dye that is picked up by x-ray) into the sac around the nerve roots, which in turn lights up the nerve roots."

"The CT scan follows and shows how the bone is affecting the nerve roots. This is a very sensitive test for nerve impingement and can pick up even very subtle lesions (injuries)."

With the myelogram you may have some discomfort from the injections, but since my back is still basically numb from my surgery years ago, I didn't feel much. You lie on your stomach, they strap your feet down because they may tilt the table after the injection of the dye to make sure that it moves to where it's supposed to. The CT scan was done immediately afterward and is similar to an MRI (but not as claustrophobic!). There was no pain involved for me from either of these tests. My pain comes from the reason I was having the tests done - spinal stenosis at L4-L5, which is causing severe back and leg pain.

After the myelogram they kept me in the hospital for 4 hours. You have to stay almost flat in order to avoid getting a spinal headache, which results if some of the spinal fluid leaks from the area of the injection. They also told me to stay down with not too much activity for the rest of the day and the entire next day. So I stayed home and took it easy!

Hope this helps.

06-30-2005, 12:17 AM
Hi Crystal...

I had my CT/myleogram done about a month ago and didn't find it painful at all either.


12-21-2005, 10:24 AM
I Had My Ct In July Of 2005. Kara

01-14-2006, 03:59 PM
I had this test on Dec 20 2005. I was not a fan. My back does not lay flat and to lay flat for 4 hours afterwards was sheer hell on me. The test itself wasn't too bad at all.

01-18-2006, 07:18 AM
when you have this test, do they give you anythg to do-read??? My back hurts when I stay like that for 15 minutes! Although you do what you have to do! I was really not thrilled about another MRI. I need a lower-lumbar MRI. Anybody know if I still have to have my head under for that?I really was hoping not! MY back hurt after that one. I was hoping NYC hospital special surgery would have one you could stand up in since they are on the cutting edge............
Lynne :)

01-18-2006, 08:24 AM
After the test, they gave me a tv to watch. I had some magazines I could read too but that's not why I hated it. My back does not lay flat. It hurts to lay flat for like you, 15 minutes. They did give me some pain meds to help but it was still very hard on me.
Admittedly, my hardest issue was not being allowed to get up and use a bathroom which made my bladder hurt which made my back hurt more...lol

The test itself was fine.

01-18-2006, 08:31 AM
any info the MRI questions???? thks, Lynne
ps. I wish you the best for your upcoming operation on Feb 9th. I just set mine yesterday for August 1st. That's when my sister(schoolteacher) can help me the most w/ my 2 boys. Right now, it seems a long time away & I'm wondering how I won't climb the walls! You have it around the corner & think it's better to get it done & over with. will be thinking of you, Lynne

01-18-2006, 08:37 AM
I'm sorry, all my MRIs have been full body for the last 4 years.
My case is kind of messed up and confusing and so every test I've had has been full body.

Perhaps you can ask for an open MRI. I've had a few of those when they wanted to check just my hip area for nerve damage. Maybe they can use that seeing as it will just be lower.

Anyone else have just a lower MRI?

01-23-2006, 09:37 PM
Hi Lynne
I had a lumbar MRI a few months ago. I had to go into the tunnel head first so I was fully in it. I was hoping they would do it the other way round so my head would be near the open end but it was not to be. In Australia you are asked if you're claustrophobic and if so you go to your appt a half hour early so you can be given a mild sedative medication to take before the scan.
The worst part was having my knees bent at an angle with a wedge under them which was VERY painful to my hips. Don't know if they do that elsewhere or just here.

02-03-2006, 02:19 PM
I had this test done about a month ago. The procedure wasn't painful at all in my opinion. However, I only stayed home one day from work and I developed massive headaches. Severe headaches are a side effect that can happen if you don't take it easy or it can just happen. They did a "blood patch" to fix it. They take blood and inject it into the same spot as the injection to "seal the hole" and stop spinal fluid from leaking (which is causing the headaches). It fixed it immediately. Thank goodness. You probably already had the test by now. I hope it went smoothly.

03-14-2006, 03:43 AM
Well, I finally had the CT Myelogram. Linda's recommendation of UCSF was a very good one. Eventhough I could have punched the attending doctor in the face, I still appreciate how quick he did things.

I was pretty worried about the whole test. I didn't like the idea of having a needle poked in my back, let alone lying flat for an hour or so. However, the needle in the back.. being punctured into my spinal column.. that scared the crap out of me. I was really counting on them knocking me out for the procedure or atleast making me "sleepy happy".. but neither of those happened. I actually felt a majority of the procedure and also had some weird stuff happen afterwards. Anyone have any issues with bowel movements after their procedure? It took me weeks to regain strength in my bowel area.

I do wish I would have triple checked with my doctor to verify that there was going to be some sort of nurse sedation or something similiar.

Oh and did anyone almost vomit during their procedure? I'm trying to figure out what happened with that one..

Thanks to everyone who responded and gave suggestions :) :)

04-12-2006, 05:00 PM

The insertion of the dye was the only unpleasant part of the test for me. The technicians could not get the needle in between my vertebrae and turned it over to the head of the department...after 16 insertions we were successful. They used lydocane to numb the area which helps. The vertebrae in my spine have hairline fracturing and with double curves and twisting it was difficult to get the needle through the bones to the canal. It took two male technicians, one at my shoulders and the other at my lower pelvic area twisting me in order to open the bones at the right angle for the needle to slide through. Finally it was done and the rest was a piece of cake, all I had to do was walk to the room and rest on the table while the radiologist did the work. I used self-hypnosis and meditation to get through the first part...works great for me.

As others have said, I was taken back to a room and left to sleep and rest for about 4 hours. My daughter picked me up and took me home and I slept through the night.

For me, the procedure was much easier than I had imagined. Best Wishes with your procedure. windwalker7

04-20-2006, 10:40 PM
I had my CT Myelogram in Toronto on February 24 1998, two weeks prior to my back surgery (L4-L5 discectomy). They did give me a write-up explaining that there may be a 10% chance of suffering the side effects most common with this procedure. Vomitting and severe head and neck pain. Well I did-but within 2 days I was back to normal.
I was told that this is the most accurate test byfar to pinpoint area's affected.