If your doctor has ordered a myelogram, it is to get more information about your joints than what a traditional CT or MRI can provide. A myelogram may be done to find a tumor, an infection, problems with the spine such as a herniated disc, or narrowing of the spinal canal caused by arthritis. A myelogram uses X-rays and a special dye to make pictures of the bones and the fluid-filled space (subarachnoid space) between the bones in your spine (spinal canal). During the test, a dye is put into the subarachnoid space of the spine with a thin needle. The dye moves through the space so the nerve roots and spinal cord can be seen more clearly. Pictures may be taken before and after the dye is used. To get more information from the test, a CT scan is done after the X-rays, while the dye is still in your body.
There are several steps to take to prepare for your Myelogram. You will be required start fasting the night before your exam. Certain medications should be discontinued 48 hrs prior to your exam including, Antidepressants/antianxiety, combination tranquilizer and antidepressant, medications with MAO inhibition activity, CNS stimulants, antipsychotics, tramadol, Ryzolt, Ultram, and Ultracet. For diabetic medication, contact your doctor treating your diabetes regarding possible medication changes the day of the procedure. You should not take Metformin for 48 hours after your myelogram. A full list of medications you should discontinue will be given to you prior to the exam date by your local Touchstone facility.
You should arrange for transportation to and from the facility where you are getting the Myelogram. You will not be allowed to drive after your Myelogram is completed. You will need to make plans to remain in a reclined position for 24 hrs after the exam has been completed.
You should wear comfortable clothes that are easy to remove. You will also be asked to remove all jewelry Please note that some of the disinfectant agents used during these procedures may stain light-colored clothing, so dark clothing is recommended.
You will be escorted to a recovery room where you will be monitored for up to three hours and then released. You will be given fluids and should continue drinking fluids regularly for most of the day after your exam. After leaving the facility, you will be required to lie down with your head elevated and limit activities for 24 hours after your myelogram. Failure to follow these instructions will result in a severe epidural headache.