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A myelogram test is safe? Feedback pls.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,550
edited 01/14/2016 - 9:20 PM in Spinal Injections
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?


  • 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. :? 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???? :? :?
    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.
  • 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.

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  • I have had 3 of them done and was never given any sort of warning!!!!! :jawdrop:
  • 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! ;) 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!!
  • you know the risk what 'if' you have to have one more, what be your decision?

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  • 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)

  • But I needed my Myelo to get better and to diagnosed me, we can either learn to trust some on the medical community or we don't! I know that I could haver never helped me surgically or medically, so I trusted a Doctor that I thought would help me out, then my bubble burst and I had to fired him after 2 surgeries, but now, I have found 2 of the most amazing professionals my new NS and my PM Doc, sometimes we need to put faith in our decisions and go from there....... is not easy, but a well educated and informed patient is better than a blinded one.
  • Basically, it would be impossible for a Dr coducting a test to tell you every single thing that might have a small chance of being a side effect from a procedure. I have done quite a bit of research on this topic, and these studies for the most part are very small and in the infant stages of study.

    Imagine the paperwork if they told you every single thing that could happen. People would not go to get these done, not out of fear but dreading reading 200 pages of possible side effects.

    Basically it boils down to the fact that your Dr feels that even with the associated risks, it is of more benefit to your health to have this procedure then to not. It provides a great roadmap especially pre-surgical. If we didnt do anything because there were risks we would all be in bubbles.

    Decide for yourself what is best, but my opinion is that you want the most information especially when considering surgery. This test provides that!

  • I agree with Mark. All medicines and tests have some risks and side effects. I would rather take a chance on some miniscule risk than have the surgeon mess up my operation because he doesn't have all the diagnostic information needed. Stop doing so much research and driving yourself crazy. Just do it!
  • Millie -

    Great point, your future health could be dependent on having this test done. Waiting too long or not having it at all can have serious consequences. As you said, sometimes we have to have faith that our best interest is being considered. There are very few quacky doctors out there that will knowingly put you in harms way. The majority are very caring giving people that truely want to make people better.

    I know for me, if my doctor says it needs to be done there is no question in my mind that he knows it is the right thing for me. I am in a unique position where my wife actually works with the Radiologist that gives me my injections (strange thing is he had done them in the past on me at another clinic years ago and remembered me at their company party 2 Christmas's ago. Thats how he started helping me again). I know he gives all his patients Grade A service, but knowing me personally I get the same service his father or mother would get.

    I think people hear horror stories of doctors and always want to think the worst. Bottom line- If you dont trust your Dr. Find a new one!!!!

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