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Myelogram with Cat SCAN... unbearable pain since procedure

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 51,465
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello all... 2nd time around for me... had ACDF c4-c5-c6 year and a half ago.... had a wonderful year and a half pain free... 2 months ago, the same old symptoms are happening.... and that dreadful pain is coming back.... eating vicodin to make it through the day at work....

Had MRI and my Myelogram yesterday.... when they injected the dye and tilted me, I thought I was gonna die.... the pain in my back and neck was none like I have ever felt before....

Although better today, the pain is extremely intense.... I feel like crawling in a hole and having someone shoot me...

Has this happened to anyone!!

Have EMG next week and then back to NS for results and see what happens next....

THIS IS NOT living... this is hell!
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Comments

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,587
    I assume you had a MRI with contrast. That should not cause you any discomfort or pain.
    Myelograms when done correctly and you follow post procedure instructions, again you should not be feeling discomfort.
    A little soreness, yes, but not to the extent you are talking about.
    I would contact your doctor to just discuss this.

    I have to apologize in advance since on the forums no one can really tell what another member's pain threshold is.

    Like I said, these procedures should not create anything more than a little soreness. Only you know your thresholds and since you've been through surgery before, I can only assume you understand different levels of pain.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • This was a lumbar puncture with dye... not the vein contrast for MRI... when they shot the dye in the spine, I nearly passed out....
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I had a myelogram 1/20 on my neck and have had terrible lower back pain ever since. Also my legs get so weak and trembly I can hardly walk. I had never had any lower back pain before. They told me its extremely rare for anyone to have side effects like these. Have you called your dr back and told them about it? If not, I'd do that first and see what they say. PM me if you'd like to talk more. Debbie
  • I had the same procedure recently.I had a killer headache for about 1 hour. I would call the DR and let him know ASAP. They might want to look at the injection site or at least attempt to control your pain. Good Luck
  • dogpatchpa01 said:
    Hello all... 2nd time around for me... had ACDF c4-c5-c6 year and a half ago.... had a wonderful year and a half pain free... 2 months ago, the same old symptoms are happening.... and that dreadful pain is coming back.... eating vicodin to make it through the day at work....

    Had MRI and my Myelogram yesterday.... when they injected the dye and tilted me, I thought I was gonna die.... the pain in my back and neck was none like I have ever felt before....

    Although better today, the pain is extremely intense.... I feel like crawling in a hole and having someone shoot me...

    Has this happened to anyone!!

    Have EMG next week and then back to NS for results and see what happens next....

    THIS IS NOT living... this is hell!
    Oh yeah - brings back memories I hate to remember. I've had many CT/Myelograms w/ contrast over the years, but the last one was the only time I've ever had that happen to me. At the time, my L3/L4 disk was flattened and the 2 vertebrae was in a bone on bone condition (I've got Spondylolisthesis, among other spinal problems), and to say the least the nerve area was extremely sensitive from the severe disk compression. I was okay until the tech rotated me from horizontal to vertical and the dye got the chance to move into the problem area. It happened so fast and hurt so bad I was literally screaming for the tech to rotate the table back. At the time I was getting pre-op pics taken for my 3rd spinal surgery ( and I had already increased my pain med dosages significantly. I normally use 1 100mcg Duragesic patch, Percocet 10/325's for breakthrough, and 100mg Demerol tabs for when things get really bad, like then. I was using 2 100mcg patches, the Demerol and had doubled my Percocet intake. While I've experienced much worse pain, it just took me by surprise at how fast it hit and the severity of it.

    I've theorized that the problem was due to the dye coming into contact with an already severely tender nerve area. That's the only thing that fit my particular situation - the tech was rotating me vertical so the dye could flow down, before rotating me back for the first plain film shots. I could feel the pain hit when the dye made its way to the problem area, and down the entire L3/4 nerve pathway like someone had literally stuck a needle into it.

    Where most people usually have a problem is if the tech screws up and rotates you to the point where your head is below horizontal - in other words, your feet are higher than your head is. In that case, what happens is the dye can can make its way to the brain stem cause a really bad headache and nausea. A good Rad tech won't let your head get below your feet.

    So, yes it does happen, and I really don't think there's much you can do to prepare for it, except maybe to make sure your pain med level it up, and a good anti-inflammatory.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm still trying to deal with this aching lower back pain and leg weakness. Will it get better? How long can it take? This is very frustrating. Now I'm not only dealing with my cervical problems but also this new pain. I now see how hard it is on people with lower back issues!!
  • Hello all a newbie here! I am waiting to get sheduled for Myelogram /CT sounds really painful! Anything I can do to prepare for this? My chiropractor has told me I have rotated L1 and L2 I have numbness and pain in my right leg and hip. do I even need this test or should I just ask my doc to send my to an Ortho? The pain is becoming unbearable chiropractor seems to make me more sore and MRI showed a small or slight bulging in disk of L4 And L5 I am really confused about all the happenings and readings of exrays and MRI and now a new test! Holy cow!!!!!
  • had a ct myelogram of cervical spine. everything went fine, no "expected" problems, but after 4 days I still have some back pain. Its a bit less each day, but I can't find out how long it should last. I have little kids and not much help. The docs all say I "shouldn't" have a problem
  • Still have a question. Two weeks post myelogram. My back pain is gone, except for a twinge. BUT my leg keeps going numb. Started a few days after the test. Lasted for 4 days, stopped for 4 days, then started again. Sometimes off and on. the doc says it will go away, and is probably dye related, but it is worrying me very much. I've spoken privately to a couple of you, and I am SO grateful. I am wondering if there is anyone else out there who has had such an odd reaction. Can't imagine living life like this!!!
  • I had a myelogram on Thursday 8/1. At the end of the myelogram I started to lose consciencness. Has anyone ever heard of this? I was sent home 2 hours later with no discharge instructions. Got a severe headache immediately following the procedure. Here it is 3 days later and I still have a headache. Was given Percocet for pain but it doesn't last very long. My discharge instructions were mailed to me and I received them 2 days AFTER my procedure. Didn't know I was supposed to lay down for 12 hours and not lift anything. I went to work the following day and have been suffering since the procedure. I've read that the headache can last up to a week. Anyone have any input?
  • Had my test on 7-9-13 and I'm still trying to deal with this aching lower back pain and leg weakness. Will it get better? How long can it take? This is very frustrating. Now I'm not only dealing with my cervical problems but also this new pain. I now see how hard it is on people with lower back issues!! Anyone body got any information on this matter?
  • Have you guys been checked.for spinal fluid leaks. This can cause this and a blood patch may fix the issue. Just a thought. There should be no long lasting pain from this.
  • I've had several myelograms, and I have never not been told what to do post procedure- lay at no more than a 30 degree angle, after the first hour, stay flat (two pillows only) other than to eat or go to the bathroom for 24 hours. After 24 hours, do not pick anything up heavy like groceries for another two days....if I got a headache to drink lots of caffeinated beverages, coffee, tea, regular soda, but have never had the need to do so.
    Yes, the dye injection caused a sudden increase in pain and in fact I almost kicked the radiologist who inserted the dye , but that was due to the pressure of the dye's insertion and the compression in the canal. It subsided for the most part after the initial pain and improved within a few days.
    Drink lots of fluids to flush out the dye, and restore the fluid levels in the canal to normal.
  • Sandi
    And or anyone else
    Did they withdraw spinal fluid first.
    During mine they called out how much die was going to be used then they withdrew that much spinal fluid to make room for the die. I felt no pressure at all.

    Rick
  • Just wanting to comment that I've had almost the same exact experience as the person who started this post. I've been suffering severe chronic back (& leg) pain for about 10 years but, the last couple of years my pain level has getting almost unbearable even with a "large" amount of medicine. So, I researched surgeons and decided to have surgery asap. The new surgeon wanted a myelogram and, during and immediately afterward my pain has gone through the roof! During the pre-surgery exam we found out that I had a 90% blocked heart artery and had two stents put in and put on blood thinners. After finding this out the new spine surgeon's practice completely ditched me and left me hanging even for my monthly PM meds.
  • I apologize. I must've missed your question when you asked. Yes, they removed some spinal fluid to compensate for the dye insertion. I think that the reason that I wound up with my leg moving uncontrollably was due to the nerve compression and spinal canal compression, rather than the insertion of the dye.....or he may have inserted the dye a bit too quickly.....not sure, but it was an uncontrolled muscular response.....rather than my actually trying to kick him
  • I just had a myelogram yesterday and they actually had to do it twice which had me ecstatic because the pain was incredible. But today I'm hurting like I just got it done again my legs are weak and my butt feels like it's numb I can barely walk or stand
    Gregory Barton
  • ajacks818aajacks818 Posts: 3
    edited 03/24/2015 - 10:03 AM
    I had a cervical Myelogram on 2/5/14. The procedure was ok, did take the radiologist a couple of times to get in correct location, but it was tolerable. After Myelogram, I was sent around to CT and left out in hall for 1 hour. Scanned me 1 x and then assistant came in room and said contrast not where it needed to be so had me roll over onto my stomach then get on all fours and drop my head down to get contrast back into my neck. That caused pressure in my head. She then rolled me back over and rescanned, so 2x the radiation! Went back to recovery after CT, then sent home w/ post procedure instructions. Woke up next day w/ severe spinal headache. Had to have blood patches on 2/6 & 2/11 but have had persistent low pressure headaches since. In addition, have had. Lbp, pain and severe tenderness in left buttock, left leg weakness, pins &needles in left foot, cold sensation in left groin& thigh, some urinary incontinence at times. Never had back issues before. This definitely took all the focus off my current brachial plexus/neck issues. MRI of L-Spine in 4/14 showed disc bulge and a tethered cord which was a huge surprise. Of course, this has been a WC case and they do not want to deal with anything. I paid for the MRI myself b/c WC doc kept blowing me off, even though I continued to tell him something was wrong. I have since been to a NS on my own and he wants to detether the cord. Has anyone had anything like this? I am so frustrated and unfortunately WC is still involved.
  • Wow - ct myelograms are not suppose to be painful, only if they tip you too far forward, if too much of the contrast gets in your head then WOW super headache but only temporary. If you still have a headache days after it, it most likely is a leak, hopefully it is at the site they went in & a blood patch with laying still resting can fix it. Csf leaks are really hard to find on tests, many never show up on tests, not unless the doc or tech is specifically trained to find leaks. Believe me that is from personal experience :(
    Csf leaks lead to brain sagging and the worst headaches sitting or standing. Only relief is laying down, no medications can touch that pain.
    I didn't have a back issue but to repair my tear behind C6 doc had to go through C6 and cage fusion for C5-C7. I can share csf leak info - just learning about my cage fusion. Hope you get relief!
    Cerebrospinal fluid leak took over a year to find, tear behind C6 repaired via dural patch graft, but had to go through C6 so C5-C6 & C6-C7 diskectomies, C6 corpectomy 75% vertebral body, C5-C7 cage with anterior plating done 11/20/14
  • Brandy06,
    I did actually have 2 blood patches which gave some relief but symptoms be er completely went away. My neurologist suspects a csf leak, has diagnosed me with low pressure headaches, now just trying to find some relief. I haven't been right since the Myelogram. Went to one neurosurgeon at an academic center referred by my neurologist who has been wonderful, but b/c I'm still dealing with workers comp, had to go get evaluated by one they chose. Of course, got a different opinion from their guy. He even suggested that my issues were from the contrast used for the Myelogram dye. I quickly lost faith in him. Current Myelogram contrast is water based, there quickly absorbed by the body, unlikely to cause long lasting neurological problems unlike the older oil-based agents from years ago. They really don't want to acknowledge that my issues are a csf leak, or even tethered cord. It's such z frustrating situation.
  • BlessedMom74BBlessedMom74 Posts: 322
    edited 03/29/2015 - 5:58 AM
    You said "tilted" me. Maybe the position they placed you in flared things up. That's what happened to me during my facet injection. The doctor placed me face down with a pillow under my chest and my chin tucked up against my chest. It flared me up horribly for days, I was in tears. It's possible the position they put you in aggravated your condition?
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,646
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!

    moderator, ~~savage

  • CAR671CCAR671 Posts: 4
    edited 10/11/2015 - 11:23 AM
    I had a myelogram this past Thursday and have had a tremendous amount of pain ever since. Laying on my stomach had always been excruciating, and during the procedure to inject the dye, they put a pillow under my chin which only exasperated the pain. They literally had to have 3 techs hold me down in order to inject the dye because I was in so much pain. (Why in the world don't they lightly sedate patients for this procedure? You would think my screaming in agony would have clued them in) After the injection, right before the scan, I had a massive headache that literally felt like my head was ready to explode. My lumbar region has been worse than normal as well as pain, numbness & weakness in my left leg as well as a lot of additional pain in my cervical neck area. The only thing the nurse gave me for my headache was a 7.5 hydro, which didn't do squat since I normally take 6ea 10/325 Percocet for breakthrough & 2ea 60mg Oxycontin for PM. it's been 3 days now, I still have a bad headache....though it has been subsiding, but the main problem has been the lumbar & neck pain has tripled. If I'm standing and I cough or sneeze my legs literally buckle from the pain. I've been drinking lots of water & coffee in order to flush the dye from my system. My question is: is this normal? How much longer can I expect to experience this additional pain?
  • Thank you savage!
    Lots of great information here. I look forward to learning from others and sharing my own experiences.
  • Laura1977LLaura1977 Posts: 1
    edited 10/14/2015 - 8:52 AM
    I have an interstem in my bladder so I was unable to have a MRI. I have been unable to sit on my tailbone for about 5 months now due to discover issues. I was referred to [edit] so I felt like I was completely in good hands. I even drove 60 miles to have the myelogram. I have severe anxiety and panic attacks and am on medication for it. I told them this. I was never told not to take it but am now reading otherwise. I asked for anesthesia due to my issues, they assured me since they were giving me phentenol and vercid I would be fine. I was asleep when the procedure began. As soon as he stuck the needle in I woke up. I was in such severe pain I could not stand it. after the road after the procedure they rolled me around on the table back and forth trying to get the day to move so that they could do the cat scan. on the ride home I was so drugged up I could barely think straight I don't remember much after that for the rest of the day the next morning I woke up with a severe spinal headache and my legs would barely move by Saturday morning I was at the ER here in [edit] they treated me like I was crazy they said I probably just had a reaction to the dye and sent me home by Monday I was back at the ER this time my doctor sent me to the ER at [edit] and said I really needed to be seen. Once again they sent me home and said it was a reaction to the dye. Don't baby it they said you need to move your legs around. I'm at the end of my rope. Now I'm having burning with urination and my legs still feel like jello. I don't know what to do I see other comments on here with the same symptoms and I feel you guys pain.

    Spine-health rules state...5.10 You agree not to post specific physician names or health care facilities names on Spine-Health.com.
    Liz, Spine-health Moderator
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,646
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!

    moderator, ~~savage

  • Anonymous said:
    Hello all... 2nd time around for me... had ACDF c4-c5-c6 year and a half ago.... had a wonderful year and a half pain free... 2 months ago, the same old symptoms are happening.... and that dreadful pain is coming back.... eating vicodin to make it through the day at work....

    Had MRI and my Myelogram yesterday.... when they injected the dye and tilted me, I thought I was gonna die.... the pain in my back and neck was none like I have ever felt before....

    Although better today, the pain is extremely intense.... I feel like crawling in a hole and having someone shoot me...

    Has this happened to anyone!!

    Have EMG next week and then back to NS for results and see what happens next....

    THIS IS NOT living... this is hell!
    Hello, I hope I am commenting in the correct area...if not, I apologize since this is my first time here.
    I just had a Cervical Myelogram with CT Scan done yesterday at one of our local hospitals where my Neurosurgeon performs surgeries. I can tell you that I went through the very same excruciating pain you mentioned. I had been so worried about the actual spinal tap and contrast dye injection and when that wasn't too bad, I began to feel a sense of relief. Boy, was I ever wrong!! They had me face down, strapped to the cold, hard table and had thick iron bars jammed up against my shoulders to keep me from falling off the table. They also had my head bent backward so far and my chin propped up with towels to keep it bent backward. Then they tiled me downward, face first....that's when the unbearable, indescribable, excruciating pain began! It was so terrible, I thought I was going to scream and believe me, I have a very high pain threshold. But this pain was like none I have ever experienced!! And they continued to take their pictures while I was in so much pain! I have already had a 2 level fusion, have bone spurs, bulging discs, pinched nerves and scar tissue from the previous surgery!! My pain level was so high that my blood pressure skyrocketed (180/70) which caused them to keep me in recovery for 4 hrs. My neck and shoulders now hurt more than they ever have and my spine and back are also very very painful. I did not get any sleep last night since I was instructed to keep my head elevated for 24 hrs. to prevent the dye from going to my brain and causing severe Spinal Headaches. This morning, I feel worse than yesterday..I am in extreme pain from my neck down to my waist. I would NEVER EVER go through this test again..I do not understand how or why they would bend my head so far backward, knowing my medical..neck/surgery history. I know they were looking for the areas in my spine where the pinched nerves are but did they not take into consideration my other neck problems?? I am very irritated at this and I called my Neurosurgeon's office this morning (Sat.) and informed them of everything that happened and that I am not happy with the outcome.
    'Never Give Up'
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,646
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!

    moderator, ~~savage

  • So here it is, just over a month later and I'm still in a great deal of pain in my lumbar area. I've always had pain here, but since the myelogram the pain has doubled. I have an appt today with my PM Dr and will be requesting some injections in the hopes of relieving this additional pain. I can't understand where or why I'm experiencing this new pain since the procedure and nobody seems to have an explanation. I understand the headache issue as a result of the dye (which I also experienced), but why would I still be experiencing this lower back pain? Could the dye have cause a problem with the surrounding nerves at the injection site? Could the tech have actually hit a nerve during the procedure?
    I just don't know. All I know is I've been miserable for the past 5 weeks and I haven't seen any improvement.
    Frustrating to say the least!
  • So sorry to hear about your experience Leona!! I know exactly how you feel! I went in for my myelogram so my neurosurgeon could get some better pictures of my neck before surgery, and the way the titled my neck up (just like you experienced) was ridiculous! My neck is in terrible shape, at EVERY level no less, and they force it up like there's nothing wrong, while three technicians hold me down. All the while I'm screaming (well....actually was yelling at them Enough! Enough!) in agony. I can assure you, after they sent me a "how was your experience" poll to fill out, I let them have it. I understand they need to get the best possible pictures they can, but c'mon....the overall lack of compassion and consideration these techs have for the people they perform these scans on, simply boggles my mind.
    All I can offer is my deepest sympathies for what you experienced. I know it's hard for most people to understand what you've been through, unless they've experienced it themselves. I wish you the very best with your surgery and hope the outcome is much needed pain relief.
    Regards,
    Chris
    Leona Johnson said:
    Anonymous said:
    Hello all... 2nd time around for me... had ACDF c4-c5-c6 year and a half ago.... had a wonderful year and a half pain free... 2 months ago, the same old symptoms are happening.... and that dreadful pain is coming back.... eating vicodin to make it through the day at work....

    Had MRI and my Myelogram yesterday.... when they injected the dye and tilted me, I thought I was gonna die.... the pain in my back and neck was none like I have ever felt before....

    Although better today, the pain is extremely intense.... I feel like crawling in a hole and having someone shoot me...

    Has this happened to anyone!!

    Have EMG next week and then back to NS for results and see what happens next....

    THIS IS NOT living... this is hell!


    Hello, I hope I am commenting in the correct area...if not, I apologize since this is my first time here.
    I just had a Cervical Myelogram with CT Scan done yesterday at one of our local hospitals where my Neurosurgeon performs surgeries. I can tell you that I went through the very same excruciating pain you mentioned. I had been so worried about the actual spinal tap and contrast dye injection and when that wasn't too bad, I began to feel a sense of relief. Boy, was I ever wrong!! They had me face down, strapped to the cold, hard table and had thick iron bars jammed up against my shoulders to keep me from falling off the table. They also had my head bent backward so far and my chin propped up with towels to keep it bent backward. Then they tiled me downward, face first....that's when the unbearable, indescribable, excruciating pain began! It was so terrible, I thought I was going to scream and believe me, I have a very high pain threshold. But this pain was like none I have ever experienced!! And they continued to take their pictures while I was in so much pain! I have already had a 2 level fusion, have bone spurs, bulging discs, pinched nerves and scar tissue from the previous surgery!! My pain level was so high that my blood pressure skyrocketed (180/70) which caused them to keep me in recovery for 4 hrs. My neck and shoulders now hurt more than they ever have and my spine and back are also very very painful. I did not get any sleep last night since I was instructed to keep my head elevated for 24 hrs. to prevent the dye from going to my brain and causing severe Spinal Headaches. This morning, I feel worse than yesterday..I am in extreme pain from my neck down to my waist. I would NEVER EVER go through this test again..I do not understand how or why they would bend my head so far backward, knowing my medical..neck/surgery history. I know they were looking for the areas in my spine where the pinched nerves are but did they not take into consideration my other neck problems?? I am very irritated at this and I called my Neurosurgeon's office this morning (Sat.) and informed them of everything that happened and that I am not happy with the outcome.
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