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Is Myelogram the decision maker

jayhawkjjayhawk Posts: 1,032
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:55 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Saw a new neurosurgeon today who ordered a lumbar myelogram to get a better picture of the nerve roots. The EMG/Nerve Conduction studies indicates it is somewhere between L2-4 as L2 & 3 can't be localized. The MRI and CTscan indicate it is L3-4.

He is suspicious of something neurological. Is this a back door attempt to get more info from a neuro point of referrance?

Is it possible he is also testing the spinal fluid that is removed before injecting the dye?

I have had this before, granted many, many years ago. But I also had horrible complications.

I just saw the neuro today and the test is scheduled Mon at 7:30 with follow up next Friday as I am ready for answers.

The neurological concern has followed me since I was in my young 30's after a horrible car accident, but no one can ever find evidence. I have been tested again and again.

I just want answers.....Thank you for taking the time to read my story!


  • Not sure what really he is looking for, but I can tell you my surgeon prefers the myelograms over the MRI's, as they give more detail, as he has said. They can see the dye passing and where it fills in and where it doesn't. I have had them both for cervical and lumbar. In the cervical region it will give them a good look at the cord itself, in the lumbar region he wanted to confirm a nerve was really pinched. I will have horrible spasms from laying on the MRI tables and with the tilt on the myelogram it is some what less pressure as far as the spasms go.
  • My neurosurgeon used it as a way to confirm the findings from the MRI. Many surgeons will do them pre-op to get a better picture of the discs and how/if they are compressing the nerve roots. My surgeon was able to see that two of my thoracic discs were, in fact, compressing my spinal cord, so he recommended surgery based on that. I went for a second opinion, and he recommended surgery as well.
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  • It depends. For me the surgeon wasn't impressed with it and still wanted to do nothing. The discogram made the decision. Both are real physical tests that are usually the final proof to the surgeon to do something.

    Myelograms tests. Stay still! Real still! This is the test that causes migraine headaches and has a high rate of it happening. I can attest that those are no fun.
  • Another tool available is neurography. It may provide an additional piece to the jigsaw puzzle.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Discogram confirmed mine also not the mylogram.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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  • Well the myelogram is done and it was a very different experience than I had in the 90's!

    The hospital that I went to is a speciality spinal cord hospital. The staff was so compassionate and kind! They routinely give IV sedation and something for pain during the myelogram and after in recovery.

    I am sore and achey but I know that is part of it. I am on bedrest through today, planning to return to work tomorrow.

    After my last myelogram, I sneezed at the end of day 2 and blow out the clot needing a blood patch so I know how easily this can happen.

    I meet with the neurosurgeon on Fri morning so I am anxious for the results and to hear his opinion.

    Hope everyone is hanging in there and thank you for your support. Shari
  • Hi; and i had the same test in 1995, for a cervical disc.
    After an x-ray and a MRI, which didnt show the problem, the myelogram showed the herniated disc in my neck pressing on the nerves.

    I havent had one recently, but i think this is probably a good test to show any hidden causes of your pain.

    Tho the after-effects are quite diffucult for a few hours, with the headaches and dizzyness.

    Best of luck to ya.

  • So sorry that you are having continued problems. I was so hopeful that you would do well after your 360. Hate to hear that you herniated the next level.

    My prayers are with you for your appt. Friday.

    Take care,

  • Well, I met with the neurosurgeon and he is recommending a laminectomy at L3-4 and L4-5. He is going to take the screws out and clean things up, freeing the trapped nerves. He is going to try to leave as much of my spinal anatomy intact as he can, but may have to put a "clip" in to keep the space open.

    This will be my 5th back surgery. I'm trying to come to terms with this. My surgery is scheduled 9/12.

    I have an appointment on the 20th with my previous surgeon, but I think I may cancel. I like this new surgeon, and what he is recommending is minimal compaired to a 360 fusion. And after a MRI, EMG/Nerve conduction test, CTscan and myelogram it seems pretty cut and dry.

    I just can't believe that here we go on this journey again...... :(
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