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How painful is a myleogram and posterior fusion

grandmesamomggrandmesamom Posts: 181
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I was having lunch with a few friends who happen to be RNS.I was telling them about my upcoming procedure and surgery and they scared the heck out of me. They told me that cervical myleograms are very painful and I am very frightened. They then proceeded to tell me that posterior cervical fusions were far more painful than an ACDF and require a long recovery. I would rather take the opinion of someone who has gone through this. How painful is a cervical myleogram and is a posterior approach that painful? I AM SO FRIGHTENED OF THE UNKNOWN.When i had my ACDF ,it was an emergency and i didn't have time to think about it.The discomfort of that was little. Can anyone put my mind at ease about these procedures?
thanks, Bethy


  • i cant help you much with the myleolgram, sorry .. but thnaks for the PM patsy
  • I've had cevervical mylogram in dec and lumbar mylogram several years ago. They injecect the dye in lumbar area for both , with the cervical they rocked the table up and down slowly to get the dye to my cervical area. For me i cannot say it was painful at all, a little uncomfortable when durning the 10 or so mins they where puting the dye in. after that was a no different than getting x-ray or CT. Some get head aches but i got no reation. you have to stay flat till they are done with all x-rays so dye stays in cervical area, then stay in bed after procedure for few hours. So unless you get headach not to bad.
    I had ACDF so cannot speak for the other procedure from rear
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  • Hi Bethy,
    I have gone through both the posterior surgery and the myleogram. To start with the myleo I have had several. The first was rather easy and no big deal. However the second one was a bit different. The injection was not a big deal at all. However the position that they wanted me into to get the best view was rather painful. I was so happy the radiologist had order me some pain pills before even starting the test and had doubled the strength. By the time i had left three hours latter the pain was at it's normal level. I think it may depend on what your surgeon is looking for or suspects is the problem as to what goes on during the myleogram. The pain is from the position they need you to hold during the procedure. So the worst part was to look up while laying on stomach if that makes since. Already having two levels fused made that position very painful.

    As far as the posterior approach the recovery is harder than the anterior surgery. I have had both surgeries and both anterior and posterior surgery twice. The posterior the muscle spasm were the worst. I had to call and ask for a stronger muscle relaxer at about the fourth day. Once they ordered up the valium it was not that bad. I will tell you the pain coming from my hips(used my bone) as far as the pain goes. The reasoning behind the severe muscle spasm is they cut the posterior muscle and the positioning for the surgery. I will tell you that after the surgeries i was only on a 24 hour hold and returned to my home by myself. So with the meds i was uncomfortable but not in extreme pain as not to be able to take care of myself. I hope this helps and if i can tell you anymore don't hesitate to pm me if need be. What are they looking for in myelogram and at what level. What level or levels are you fused at. Good luck and remember the pain from the myleo is short lived .
  • Never had a myelogram, but have had both anterior and posterior cervical surgery. The posterior surgery is more painful and a more painful recovery because they have to cut through a lot of muscle, whic they don't have to do for an anterior approach.

    1993 ACDF c6-c7
    8/2008 posterior cervical foraminotomy and ectomy at 3 levels with arthrodesis
    DDD and severe spondylosis at all cervical levels (except c6-c7).
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