A myelogram test is safe? Feedback pls.

A myelogram test is safe? Feedback pls.

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Anonymous (not verified)
Title: Member
A myelogram test is safe? Feedback pls.

A myelogram is a diagnostic test in which a radiographic contrast media (dye) is injected into the area surrounding the spinal cord and nerves. This dye is then visible on x-rays, CT, or MRI scans and used by physicians to diagnose spinal conditions. There is now a concern that exposure (especially repeated exposure) to some of the dyes used in myelograms may cause arachnoiditis. Similarly, there is concern that the preservatives found in epidural steroid injections may cause arachnoiditis, especially if the medication accidentally enters the cerebral spinal fluid.

Would you go for it or think about it twice?

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tinman (not verified)
Title: Member
more info

I search on health spine for an illness then surf the net for more info.

Here is more info about Arachnoiditis. Look first on SH for info.

if link is not welcome, please delete
http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article180.html

I am more interested in feedback on the test itself. Makes one think twice about the decision no?

Twisted2 (not verified)
Title: Member
Myelogram feedback

Hi Tinman,

I had some ESI's last fall and just had a myelogram on 6/10. I never heard of arachnoiditis and had to look it up. Nobody ever told me this was a risk. It must be very rare. As far as the myelogram, the only risks I was told about was allergy to the dye and severe headaches. (I had neither.)

Now for the test: It was an all day ordeal. I had to arrive at 8:00 AM for a 9:00 appointment and wasn't released until 4:00 PM. First they took about a million x-rays. Then they injected lidocaine to numb my spine. Once I was numb, they injected the dye into my lumbar spinal column. From this I learned that your spinal cord ends in the thorasic part, so the lumbar column contains only fluid, nerve roots and branches. When the physician's assistant injected the dye, she bumped a nerve root and I felt like a lightning bolt all the way down the back of my right leg into the sole of my foot. That was fun!!! It wasn't really painful, just made me jump. Then they tilted the x-ray table till I was standing, then the other way till I was almost upside down to distribute the dye to my whole spine. Then they took about a million more x-rays and then sent me down the hall for a CT scan. While waiting for my turn in the CT scan, I couldn't just lie still, I had to keep rolling over about every 10 or 15 minutes so the dye wouldn't settle. That was the worst part, because I had to wait about an hour and a half for my turn! After it was over they kept me for about 2 more hours to make sure I was OK and not getting the headache that about 10% of people get. They keep you lying down and tell you to lie down at home to prevent the headaches. They said I could get up to use the bathroom and to eat, but to recline the rest of the time. By about 8:00 that night I was so bored I said "screw it" and sat up to read. I was fine. Really that night I felt pretty good. The lidocaine took away the normal pain I have from spinal stenosis and scoliosis. Wish I could have a shot of that every day! Really it wasn't that bad, and not painful.

I didn't think twice about going for this test. If your doctor needs the results to do surgery, you do what you gotta do. I was more nervous about an MRI because of going into that tube. They gave me valium and I kept my eyes closed, so I was OK. Anyway, good luck!

tinman (not verified)
Title: Member
"Nobody ever told me this was a risk."

"As far as the myelogram, the only risks I was told about was allergy to the dye and severe headaches."

Happy you have no problem with test.

My question is why Dr does not say it? it is a reason ' because it does not happen often'? Sad

all the risks should be enumerated to the patient before the examinations and before making them sign a ' not responsability' or ' acceptance of the risks test'. Sad

To who they say these things? Not to have to be said to all before dell' examination not only the head ache risk?

Causes of Arachnoiditis
There are 3 main causes of arachnoiditis:

•Trauma/surgery-induced

Arachnoiditis has long been recognized as a rare complication of spinal surgery (particularly after multiple or complex surgeries) or trauma to the spine. Other similar causes include multiple lumbar punctures (especially if there is a "bloody tap" with bleeding into the spinal fluid), advanced spinal stenosis, or chronic degenerative disc disease.

•Chemically-induced

In recent years, myelograms have come under scrutiny as being a possible cause of this condition. A myelogram is a diagnostic test in which a radiographic contrast media (dye) is injected into the area surrounding the spinal cord and nerves. This dye is then visible on x-rays, CT, or MRI scans and used by physicians to diagnose spinal conditions. There is now a concern that exposure (especially repeated exposure) to some of the dyes used in myelograms may cause arachnoiditis. Similarly, there is concern that the preservatives found in epidural steroid injections may cause arachnoiditis, especially if the medication accidentally enters the cerebral spinal fluid.

•Infection-induced

Arachnoiditis can also be caused by certain infections that affect the spine such as viral and fungal meningitis or tuberculosis.

See link for more info or surf net or ask trust doctor ALL info-risk test before.

sandi
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Joined: 06/20/2008 - 12:53am
Myelograms

I've had two of them. One before my first surgery and one about 6 months after it. I was never , ever told about arachnoiditis as a consequence of myelograms. :O
I developed arachnoiditis sometime between the date of my first surgery and my second surgery, 17 months after my first one. :O
I had to ask my neurosurgeon about it, because I was experiencing lots of symptoms of something being seriously wrong, and had no idea what it was until someone mentioned arach to me. Thinking I was furious when I found out, both because I was never told that it was a possibility, no matter how allegedly remote, and secondly because according to my neuro, they don't say that it is there , because it is caused by tests that they order, therefore, there is some liability to it. I was also told by a radiologist, that unless the doctor specifically asks for it in a MRI or a CT scan, that they don't include it as an incidental finding , again because it might make the doctors mad, and might lead to liability issues for the doctor....isn't that a bunch of garbage???? Thinking :?
I had a selective nerve root block and a caudal esi. I asked about steriods and whether they are safe or not around the spinal nerves and was told yes, they are. I was also told that steriods injections do not increase blood sugars, which is an out and out lie. They certainly do increase blood sugars. I found out from real life experience. When I went back , and told them that the kid who assists with injections flat out lied to me, I was told that there is no way that he would have said no, until he got called into the room and he admitted that he did, in fact tell me that. :sick:
My long post is to point out, that sometimes we are not given the correct or complete information when it comes to these "treatments". It is up to each one of us to do our own research to find out what a test/injection is all about, what the possible risks/benefits are, and then to make an informed decison about whether or not to go through with them.
I have to live now , with arach, along with CES and a few other not so nice problems to deal with, all stemming from my surgeries. I would not have the myelogram again if I knew now , what I should have known then. I think that there are a lot more like me, who have gone into a test because our surgeon thinks that we should, and are not given a true "informed consent", and come out of those tests, with more problems than we had before we had it done.
Sandi

tinman (not verified)
Title: Member
that is my point. lack or mis-informed about procedure

many procedure are done and patient are misinformed or not informed about pro-contro in order to take decision with knowlege and choice to go or not for it.

Sorry you now live with arch too.

cherrykittykat48 (not verified)
Title: Member
Wow that worries me!

I have had 3 of them done and was never given any sort of warning!!!!! :jawdrop:

milliekeylargo (not verified)
Title: Member
Tests

I had a Myelogram before my 3 level 360 surgery in Nov. of 07. I don't know if I was lucky or what, but it did not hurt at all! I was looking at the monitor and I looked at a needle going inside a spine and I asked the Doc if that was me? and he said yes! :jawdrop: All tests and surgeries and treatments have a level of risk, but so does life! So we need to do what is best for us and make decisions for our health care that might be difficult ones........ Just need to make sure that the anesthesiologist that is performing the Myelo is experience, the rest is almost a pot luck thing for all of us. Now a Discogram, that is a doozie! But survivable too! Wink Just make sure to read the consent form carefully before any procedure and do not sign if you have any doubts,then ask the Doc that is going to do your procedure what this or that means, don't sign stuff without reading it! seen that before and is not a good policy!!

tinman (not verified)
Title: Member
and now?

you know the risk what 'if' you have to have one more, what be your decision?

tinman (not verified)
Title: Member
i agree to degree

problem is that 'usual' risk are on paper not all like arch.

or dr give you simple paper consent to do test and tell verbal risk (minor of curse)

tinman (not verified)
Title: Member
btw

all in life have risk true.

also cross street. but your mom tell you look right-left before cross street.

dr. job to give info. our live is in dr hand like our live is in mom hand when babys.

is not a game to play with pple life health.

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