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Questions about Myelogram

hotcoffee29hhotcoffee29 Posts: 327
Hello All,

I was just wondering if some of you were able to share your CT Myelogram experiences with me. I am scheduled for one on Jan 18th. I just had a discogram last month, so I know it won't be worse than that, however my doctor declared the discogram negative because he said it did not re-produce enough pain, pain but not enough!

My concern is that my test is scheduled at 8am in the hospital, will be there for half a day and I will come home and rest afterwards. I am due back at work the next day, will I be ok? I am up at 4:30am and I ride a school bus at 5:45am for over an hour (I am a Teachers assistant, riding the bus is part of my job), will I be ready to be up and about by 4:30am the day after a Myleogram? I just want to make sure I avoid the spinal headache.

I am praying that this test shows where my pain is coming from, I am 6 months post-op for Lami/discectomy at L5-S1 with continued sciatic pain and low back pain on the opposite side of herniation/surgery which continues to get worse. I have had Lumbar and Pelvic MRI and Discogram and my surgeon says he cannot figure out why I am in pain, everything looks normal minus some scar tissue which is not on the nerves. If this Myelogram is normal then I know its probably the end of the road as what more can he do for me??

Can anyone share exactly what they will see on the Myelogram and if it shows inflmmation (incase thats my problem), just curious if it has helped diagnose new and strange symptoms in some of you also.

Thanks for sharing,



  • So far, and you are right, in comparison to a Discogram, they are easier, but I don't know about you going back to work the next day.
    Last one that I had done was in the hospital were I was hospitalized for Cauda Equina, and even the next day, I was very, very sore. So if I was you, I will take the next day off, just to make sure that you are OK to sit down for that many hours and also to make sure that you are OK to drive.

    Good luck with your test, and I hope that it will show what the source of your pain is. Take care,
  • I appreciate your advice, I am a little worried that going back to work so soon after might cause me some problems although the doctors office didn't seem to think so which is why I am seeking advice from others who have experienced it.

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  • I had one done and it was recommended to stay "quiet" for 24 hours following the procedure. I had no problems with the procedure itself and did take it easy the next day.

  • I am glad to hear you had it done and no complications, I just hope I can go to work the next day and not over do it at work and get by without the headache, I was more concerned about the bumpy bus ride, however I am going to try it and if i feel badly at work I will call my hubby to come get me!!

    My test is coming up on Monday the 18th, this will hopefully show the reason for my on-going pain issues since my surgery in July. I have never fully recovered, my surgeon wanted to do a fusion but when he did the discogram he said it was negative so he said I no longer needed a fusion, I am not sure how much more this myelogram will show and what can be done.

    I hope you are doing well and your pain isn't too bad! I have taken your advice over the last few months, I still push through the pain, I am exercising, I am even loosing some weight!! I am not lying down or giving in to the pain, I am just seeking the cause so i know what I can do to eliminate it and get my full life back!!!

    Happy New Year,
  • Could you get the test rescheduled for a Friday? That way you would have the whole weekend to recover. It is my experience that doctors always underestimate how long it will take to recover, be it from major surgery, or a simple procedure! They should have to go through every one of these things before telling us it isn't "too bad," or recovery will be "fairly quick."

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  • Sandra,
    It is problematic for us or anyone to transpose how you will feel and committed to going into school is a decision that only you can make, I do understand your back-up plan to go home if need be.

    It is always difficult when the evidence does not match the symptoms and on the positive side not have to have a fusion is better then needing one in the long term. Although the myelogram may highlight any deficiency or compression that will not measure the pain itself, equating minimal evidence with enduring or ongoing pain never easy.

    Having pain and no substantive medical evidence is not where anyone likes to be, a TA’s job is a physical one and vital in supporting teachers, I hope all goes well with your impending assessment.

    Have a day off, they will manage it is an emotional event as well and you are doing well, they may know why you are going and getting that work life balance always a challenge.

    Take care, I teach 5-10 age group. John
  • But my kids don't make them, I work with kids who have emotional and behavior disabilities!! I guess one of the reasons I don't like missing work is that its a hard class, I assist in a 4th grade class and when the teacher is on her own it makes for a very rough day!! I did my surgery over the summer so I was ready to go back to work after summer break, its just been a challenge due to my on going pain and sciatica symptoms.

    Thanks for the words of sympathy and support, I appreciate it and it is difficult to feel the pain and the doctor be unable to find the source. I have DDD at L5-S1, so he was thinking that a fusion at that level may be whats needed but not so according to discogram, but your right I am better off not needing a fusion right now, I am just anxious to find something that will work to help ease my pain in my back and my left leg which is becoming weaker, but maybe the CT myelogram will be the answer!!

    The hospital called today to get some information from me but I missed the call so she is calling me again tomorrow, so I will ask questions regarding the procedure and if its better I can change it to a Friday and rest over the weekend. i was unable to return to work the following day after my discogram, I made every attempt but I was still in too much pain.

    Do you work in an Elementary school? I know my job is chalenging, our students are a handful, but I do love my job.

    Gwennie....how are you doing? I will talk to hospital tomorrow and will work out a day and time that should help me rest without missing too much work. I am limited on my sick day!!! I have my evaluation coming up and I am praying they don't mention my sick days!! I get 6 a year plus 4 personal days which can be used as sick....I have 5 left total and still have to make it to June!!!!

    Take care everyone, thanks for replying, its just nice knowing others care and your not alone,

  • I go for my myelogram on Monday morning. The hospital called to get info from me and to give me the details, I have to be at the hospital at 7am and my procedure is scheduled at 9am, she said I will be monitored, blood pressure, heart etc and an IV put in and before the test blood work will be drawn, is this normal to have blood work done prior to a CT myeloram?

    She told me I will be in recovery for 6 hours!!!!! Then I can go home, I am a little nervous, she told me I will have an IV, so does this mean I will get sedation?? I hope so! Are you able to get up to go to the bathroom during recovery? (I always have to go), thats really bothering me!!

    I guess I will be answering all my questions soon enough, I have been in lots of pain the last few days so my fingers are crossed this test will show any nerve compession I may have going on, does the test just look at the lumber area or the whole spine?? Any answers are greatly appreciated.

  • You are good at asking questions that we cannot know the answers to!! Usually it is the doctor who orders the test that specifies how much of the spine he wants to image. I would think he would just be looking at the lumbar area in your case...but, that's a guess on my part!

    Here's another guess: they often draw blood to be sure your kidneys will be able to clear the dye that will be injected so that the nerves will be more visible on the scan. I am guessing that's why they are drawing blood prior to the actual test...and may be the reason for the IV line.

    You can read about it here:


    It should be easier than the discogram you had previously.

    I'm really sorry you are having more pain. I suppose going back to work has not helped your situation.

    I'll be sending positive thoughts your way on Monday, hoping this test will clearly show the source of your pain.

    Remember to lie flat and still afterward...very important.

    Take good care,
  • Thanks gwennie,

    I was getting so nervous so i know I was asking the impossible!! (sorry!)

    Well I went in at 7am yestrday morning, they took good care of me, the numbing injection in my spine stung alot and then when the dye was injected I felt it go right through my back and I felt like I was going to pass out, like a head rush, but it passed fairly quick. The rest wasn't so bad, but it really increased my back pain, dramatically!!

    I went to recovery for about 5 hours where they pushed caffeine and would not let me out of bed (not even to go to the bathroom), but I survived, came home and went to bed at an elevated angle, took it very easy.

    I got up at 4:30am this morning and went to work, I have felt pretty bad all day, very light headed, slight headache, legs feel funny, tingling numb feeling and very bad bach ache, its been torture!!! I came home and had a message from the hospital, so i called the nurse back and told her how I was feeling, she told me to take something for the pain and rest, drink more caffeine and if I start to feel worse, or vomit or the headache gets worse, to go to the ER. She said being at work probably aggrivated my symptoms, although they told me I would be fine to go to work the next day. She told me the dye stretches everything out so thats why it has increased my back pain but to use heat and ice on my back for some relief.

    So overall I feel yucky but it wasn't the worst test in the world, I am having bad stomach cramps too, I am not sure if its related in any way but thats just whats going on. I have no results yet, she said my doctor should have a report sometime tomorrow, so we will see.

    Well I have to go lie down and rest and pray that this horrible feeling passes. Thanks for all your support, its truly appreciated.

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