Myelography is an x-ray examination of the spinal canal. A contrast agent is injected through a needle into the space around the spinal cord to display the spinal cord, spinal canal, and nerve roots on an x ray.


The purpose of a myelogram is to evaluate the spinal cord and nerve roots for suspected compression. Pressure on these delicate structures causes pain or other symptoms. A myelogram is performed when precise detail about the spinal cord is needed to make a definitive diagnosis. In most cases, myelography is used after other studies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computed tomography scan (CT), have not provided enough information to be certain of the diagnosis. Sometimes myelography followed by CT scan is an alternative for patients who cannot have an MRI scan, because they have a pacemaker or other implanted metallic device.

A herniated or ruptured intervertebral disc, or related condition such as disc bulge or protrusion, popularly known as a slipped disc, is one of the most common causes for pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. The condition is popularly known as a pinched nerve. Discs are pads of fiber and cartilage that contain rubbery tissue. They lie between the vertebrae, or individual bones, which make up the spine.

Discs act as cushions, accommodating strains, shocks, and position changes. A disc may rupture suddenly, due to injury or a sudden strain with the spine in an unnatural position. In other cases, the problem may come on gradually as a result of progressive deterioration of the discs with aging. The lower back is the most common area for this problem, but it sometimes occurs in the neck, and rarely in the upper back. A myelogram can help accurately locate the disc or discs involved.

Myelography may be used when a tumor is suspected. Tumors can originate in the spinal cord or in tissues surrounding the cord. Cancers that have started in other parts of the body may spread or metastasize in the spine. It is important to precisely locate the mass causing pressure so effective treatment can be undertaken. Patients with known cancer who develop back pain may require a myelogram for evaluation.

Other conditions that may be diagnosed using myelography include arthritic bony growths (spurs), narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis), or malformations of the spine.


Myelograms can be performed in a hospital x ray department or in an outpatient radiology facility. The patient lies face down on the x ray table. The radiologist first looks at the spine under fluoroscopy, and the images appear on a monitor screen. This is done to find the best location to position the needle. The skin is cleaned, numbed with local anesthetic, and then the needle is inserted. Occasionally, a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid, the clear fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain, may be withdrawn through the needle and sent for laboratory studies. Contrast material (dye that shows up on x rays) is then injected.

The x-ray table is tilted slowly, allowing the contrast material to reach different levels in the spinal canal. The flow is observed under fluoroscopy, and x rays are taken with the table tilted at various angles. A footrest and shoulder straps or supports keep the patient from sliding.

In many instances, a CT scan of the spine is performed immediately after a myelogram, while the contrast material is still in the spinal canal. This helps outline internal structures more clearly.

A myelogram takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes. A CT scan adds about another hour to the examination. If the procedure is done as an outpatient exam, some facilities prefer the patient to stay in a recovery area up to four hours.

Patients who are unable to lie still or cooperate with positioning should not have this examination. Severe congenital spinal abnormalities may make the examination technically difficult to carry out. Patients with a history of severe allergic reaction to contrast material (x-ray dye) should report this to their physician prior to having myelography. Medications to minimize the risk of severe reaction may be recommended before the procedure. Given the invasive nature and risks of myelograms and increased anatomic detail provided by MRI or CT, myelograms are generally not used as the first imaging test.


Patients should be well-hydrated at the time they are undergoing a myelogram. Increasing fluids the day before the study is usually recommended. All food and fluid intake should be stopped approximately four hours before the procedure.

Certain medications may need to be stopped for one to two days before myelography is performed. These include some antipsychotics, antidepressants, blood thinners, and diabetic medications. Patients should discuss this with their physician or the staff at the facility where the study is to be done.

Patients who smoke may be asked to stop the day before the test. This helps decrease the chance of nausea or headaches after the myelogram. Immediately before the examination, patients should empty their bowels and bladder.


After the examination is complete, the patient usually rests for several hours, with the head elevated. Extra fluids are encouraged, to help eliminate the contrast material and prevent headaches. A regular diet and routine medications may be resumed. Strenuous physical activities, especially those that involve bending over, may be discouraged for one or two days. The physician should be notified if the patient develops a fever, excessive nausea and vomiting, severe headache, or a stiff neck.


Headache is a common complication of myelography. It may begin several hours to several days after the examination. The cause is thought to be changes in cerebrospinal fluid pressure, not a reaction to the dye. The headache may be mild and easily alleviated with rest and increased fluids. Sometimes, nonprescription medicines are recommended. In some instances, the headache may be more severe and require stronger medication or other measures for relief. Many factors influence whether the patient develops this problem, including the type of the needle used and his or her age and gender. Patients with a history of chronic or recurrent headaches are more likely to develop a headache after a myelogram.

The chance of a reaction to the contrast material is a very small, but potentially significant risk. It is estimated that only 5–10% of patients experience any effect from contrast exposure. The vast majority of reactions are mild, such as sneezing, nausea, or anxiety. These usually resolve by themselves. A moderate reaction, like wheezing or hives, may be treated with medication, but is not considered life threatening. Severe reactions, such as heart or respiratory failure, occur very infrequently, and require emergency medical treatment.

Rare complications of myelography include injury to the nerve roots from the needle or from bleeding into the spaces around the roots. Inflammation of the delicate covering of the spinal cord, called arachnoiditis, or infections, can also occur. Seizures are another very uncommon complication reported after myelography.

Normal results

A normal myelogram shows nerves that appear normal, and a spinal canal of normal width, with no areas of constriction or obstruction.

Abnormal results

A myelogram may reveal a herniated disk, tumor, bone spurs, or narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis).



Daffner, Richard. Clinical Radiology, The Essentials. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1993.

Pagana, Kathleen Deska. Mosby's Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests. St. Louis: Mosby, Inc., 1998.

Torres, Lillian. Basic Medical Techniques and Patient Care in Imaging Technology. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1997.


Spine Center. 1911 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19103. (215) 665-8300.

Ellen S. Weber, M.S.N.
Lee A. Shratter, M.D.

Also read article about Myelography from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

I had a sever headache afterwards , I layed home for 5 days before my surgeon returned me to his office and then back to the ER to recieve a "blood patch" which completely helped my headache, I was fine as soon as this bloodpatch was performed. I was advised from the nurse, this is common as the fluid had leaked out from the brain area, and the brain had no cushion to protect it so it virtually was hitting the skull causing such sever headaches,, It was the worse i had ever experienced, i was taken by ambulance to our small hospital and given morphine in a IV and as soon as I sat up , it was pounding again, No more Mylegrams for
I can empathize with you!! Those are the WORST headaches! I had my first myleogram in '94. The next day I was back in the hosp (after lamenectomy) for 4 days. The blood patch didnt work and neither did the 'mega doses' of caffiene. Finally went away after 5 days. The next myleo was, again, before another lamenectomy (same place L4). The myleo went bad, it felt as if my right leg was blowing up like a balloon (excruciating pain!!!) and then it 'exploded'. I was screaming in pain and looked to see if my leg was still there and it was flopping up and down on the table. The 'intern' told me to lay still so he could move the needle and the same thing happened to the other leg. By then my body went into shock and they ran to get my Mom who was in the hall. it took 2 days to recover from the shock. The lamenectomy was preformed and all was well for 3 months until it re-ruptured. I was ignored for 8 mo and finally had a come to Jesus talk with my neurosurgeon. I had another myleogram (with no instances) and he referred me to someone 'better'. I had a fusion and screw and rods in 96. All was well till 04 and I ruptured a disc above the fusion. I DID file workmans comp and my prior orthopedic ordered a myleogram. (no immediate reactions) He also ordered spinal injections (something went wrong on the table) and about a week-2weeks later, I suddenly woke up w/a headache that worsened. By mid aft. my husband had called an ambulance. 4 days later I was told that some bacteria that everyone has on their skin, found its way into my spinal fluid. Bacterial menengitis! It made the CSF headaches feel like a tickle!! A month in the hospital. It turned into a circus, workmans comp was trying to get out of the mess as was the hosp. LONG LONG recovery!
I finally returned to another neurosurgeon 12-09 since that circus due to the pain getting worse due to my job. (havent filed workmans comp due to experience, or LACK there of. care) I had a myleogram 1-8-10. For 3 days I was telling everyone in radiology of my horrific experiences and not being able to lie on my stomach. Very high pain tolerance as well as high resistance to meds. I was barely lying on the table when the needle went in. I expressed the pain getting worse to no avail, and I literally scrambled all over the table, trying to grab my right let. My left leg was becoming paralized with pain and locked up. My IV came out, unbeknowest to me and I was screaming in agony and pain. They went to put me on a bed and I was screaming for someone to grab my left leg and pull it up. after the 3rd attempt, finally one of them complied and there was LITTLE relief. I then went into CT scan and into a room to 'recover'. Blood was all over my arms, hand, bed, gown from my IV. It has been 3 days now and my pain in my legs are finally decreasing. I GET NO RETURN CALL FROM THE DR. OFFICE. I put my PCP on alert that there were problems and release the report. I am experiencing hot/cold flashes today. have had bed rest since the tests.

I do not know why the med. profession will not take people seriously!!

Just thought I'd share my story.
I had my myelogram in 1982 prior to a foramen magnum decompression op. at the National in Queen's Square, London. I remember the myelogram being far worse a procedure than the surgery. Every time they tried to insert the needle they hit a nerve which screamed down my leg. Then there was the tipping you upside down to spread the dye and then the CT scan. I then spent 4 days in a hospital bed with the most severe headache (no pain-killing patches in those days) - if someone had offered to shoot me I would have accepted. I also felt as though I had been kicked in the back by a camel. Apparently they used myodil - which in 1987 was banned in the UK as being a toxic dye!!! 23 yrs later and I can still relive every minute of it.
I am looking for the spine Center that I used to go to in the mid to late 90's There I had shots to my back that were successful. I also had a procedure where the nerve endings in my lower back were burned (laser) and I was pain free untill the nerves healed. I am trying to obtain my records because I am having more shots and the Neuro-surgean would like those old records. I am living in Pheonix, AZ. so it is impossible for me to come and collect them. Thank you for your time and effort in this matter.
Mercedes Y. Thompson
4132 W. Virginia Ave. Apt1
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Hola mi nombre is Carlos Carrillo, ayer 04/30/2010, tuve mi primer myelogram, en St, John's Hospital en St. Louis Mo, sofar hacodi la mejor experiencia en un hospital, el servicio fue excelente y el Dr. Thomasson, quien hizo el myelogram, me explico todos los pro y contras de este procedimiento, ya van casi 24 horas depues del myelograma y no he sentido nada diferente (no dolor de cabeza ni nada diferente), el proceso en si no fue doloroso el DR me explico que ahora utilizan agujas mas peqenas y el liquido de contraste es a base de agua loque lo hace casi indoloro.
I had one and that will never happen again. Upon injection with the dye my entire body felt as if I had been soaked in gasoline and lit on fire. The facility explained that they had burned something called a Conus. They then actually hog tied me. They offered me nothing for the pain and there was an MD present.

To had insult to the injury they "lost the films" and asked me to repeat this test in a month. Never again. I am sure this procedure was done wrong. Now I have a phobia of all medical care. I know the fear is "unreasonable" it still exists.

I don't believe their story of the Burned conus.
I had a myelogram recently before my lumbar decompression fusion surgery. I am pleased to say that I was totally unaware of when the needle and dye were being inserted. The numbing needles were almost undetectable and I was shocked when I was told it was over. I assumed they were still numbing. My legs ached from pain, but I have that most of the time. I had no headache afterwards and my experience was great.
This is my first myelogram and Im terrified I have had so many people tell me how horrible the pain is and now they are really freaking me out!! Can anyone tell me what its like to go thru this Im having attacts of the worst kind!! thanks for any input you can give me.
I had a Myelogram last Wednesday and now its the following Tuesday and I"m still having trouble, I've been vomiting, dizzy and now I have pain in the back of my neck. I will guaranteed you one thing, this will be the last Myelogram I'll ever have. I would not recommend this to anyone. There's got to be a better way.
I had a Myelogram back in 2000 and I must say that the experience was not as bad as I had anticipated. I was a bit anxious before hand, so I got a shot of Demerol and a couple Valium before the procedure. I was so doped up I barely remember anything let alone felt anything.
I had a Myelogram done on Tuesday (11/16/10) and my spine feels like it's trying to go through my tail bone and butt cheeks. I have had a serious headache for 2 days. I have been feeling very nauseas since the procedure. The Myelogram itself was a little uncomfortable, but not painful at all. The pain came after the fact! It is very uncomfortable and painful for me to sit up. The staff at West Valley Imaging in Henderson, Nevada did a wonderful job at making me feel comfortable and important. I would not mind doing this test or any other test again, especially if my life depended on it!
I am going for a myelogram on 12/6 and am terrified is there anyone out there that has had a good one /
I've had three Myelograms due to a neck/spinal injury. In retrospect, the first was slightly barbaric, but not too bad, (I had to keep my head at an angle--A BLOCK OF WOOD WRAPPED IN DUCTTAPE--but otherwise,no after effects). With prior knowledge, for the second Myelogram, I self-medicated and do not remember too much because I was drugged. My third and recent Myelogram was a HORROR story. After preparation and "harnassed" onto the table, the technician told me there would be a 45-minute delay...I had to wait for another doctor to arrive and replace the doctor I met prior to prep, etc. When the doctor finally arrived, he barely numbed the area of entry and it was very painful when he inserted the needle. Obviously, he couldn't "find" the correct insertion area for the needle because he kept "feeling around" with the needle and even made the comment that he was trying to find the "right place"...this was my spinal cord he was referring to. Needless to say, I was horrified!!! This ws in October and I am continuing to experience lower back pain at the area of insertion. In fact, I am going to a pain specialist tomorrow morning and get his opinion. Based on my research, I think he damaged some nerves in my lower back when he was "fishing around" for the spinal cord-unreal. I will never have another unless I am completely sedated.
I have back pain after mine. Now 4 days. Getting a little better each day. BUT how long is it normal for the pain to last?
I am a 48yr old female,3 bad cervical disc,2 level fusion done neck late Aug.2010, still having pain @ base of neck, one arm & 2 fingers feel tingling & numbness and headache 24/7. I had a myelogram with contrast & post CT scan. Barely felt needle with Lido,spinalneedle I felt, however it was tolerable, when the contrast was injected I began to feel pressure & you can tell that it is traveling.The pressure built to the point that it duplicated the severe pain I experiencein my lumbar(have two bad levels there)I finally felt like my legs were paralized.I also had a hot burning with a screaming sharp pain at L5/S1. When the table was tilted I could once again feel the contrast moving & the pressure building, I actually felt like my nose was gonna blow off my face & my eyes out of thier sockets. The Dr. knew I was in pain, he asked me if I could tolerate it for just a minute more. When the table was returned to the level position some of the pressure was relieved,I was moved back to the stretcher & it took about 10 minutes for most of the pressure to go away.My Dr. was fab,he constantly asked me if I was ok,he was patient & helpful in moving me in different positions during the procedure & seemed guinuinely concerned. I have a good tolerance for pain level & I work in the field so I don't usually complain, but I have to admit that this was not a fun procedure but also not the horror story that some have posted. You have to keep in mind that it is a serious procedure for true detailed problem diagnosis so if you need to have one you have kinda suck it up & be grown up during it, which some people can't do & are dramatic. Go in with a positive attitude & ask God to be with you & not let it be to bad. When the pressure is building take slow deep breaths in & blow it out it does help. When I had to move for the CT scan it hurt but I went slow & careful -- it's part of so what else our you gonna do. Then had to lay on my back for 5 1/2 hours, drank almost a gallon of gatorade, apple juice & water, got 1 pain pill. I had 2 days @ home feeling beat up.Getting back to normal but I have a good deal of pain daily (hence the myelogram) My back is still pretty sensitive to touch & still feels tight back, but improving each day. I just had it done 3 days ago.Good Luck Anna I will say a prayer for you.
I had a myelogram on January 24th. Because I am allergic to contrast dye, I was pre-treated with Medrol and Benadryl. When the doctor injected the dye, I got an immediate pressure headache which he said would get better within 10 minutes. It didn't. After drinking tons of caffeine and other liquids to try to flush my system and trying allergy pills and pain pills, my headache persisted so I had to have a blood patch on January 28th. The anesthesiologist said my headache would go away immediately and was quite surprised when I left the hospital with a continued headache that day. She told me the first blood patch has a 90 percent success rate and to give it until February 1st to go away. As of tonight, I still have a bad headache and am continuing to have itching and hives. I do not recommend anyone having a myelogram. Infact, the neurosurgeon who practices in the same office with my neurosurgeon was the doctor on call and he told me he doesn't do them because he doesn't see the point. An MRI will show you everything you need to know, he said. Does anyone know if my headache will go away without a second blood patch? Or is a second blood patch required to stop the fluid leak? I'm not made of money and even with insurance, this procedure was quite expensive.
The hospital just called checking on me. I told the nurse I still have a headache. She said I should call my doctor and he will let me know if I need to have a second blood patch. I asked her if the headache would eventually go away on it's on and she said that if it was caused from the myelogram or blood patch, it will. She said because your spine was leaking fluid, it allowed my brain to *rattle around in my head* (instead of floating in the fluid like a baby in it's mama's womb) which caused the headache. She said coming off two of my medications for the myelogram (Seroquel and aspirin) probably is contributing along with my body still trying to flush out the dye. (We know this because I'm still having hives and itching.) My body needs time to repair itself. Because of our conversation, I'm going to continue taking medication for my headache and just hang in there.
I just had my myelogram last monday, I did get a terrible headache because I wasnt told to sit my head up and I did, it felt like I had bee hit in the head with a hammer, the shots werent bad until they injected the dye, that felt terrible, the CT was easy and then off to recovery, where I was given water to drink and finally given a pain pill, it has been 4 days now and I still feel like ive been hit by a mac truck, my body is tired and all I do is sleep, I will never have another one again. if a doc ever says you need one really think hard about it!
I had a myelogram yesterday morning and did well and NO headache and had no problem during the test. Do not remember anything but today I am experiencing severe lower back pain and leg pain to the point that I can barely walk and I am having to take hydrocodeine in order to tolerate the pain. Called my dr and he ordered a lower lumbar MRI stat to see what could be wrong as he says this is unusual. NO HEADACHE followed instruction given and it paid off. Has anyone experienced the pain in the lower back and legs?
I am going to see yet another Dr for my neck injury and my attorney has told me that I will be requested to have the mylegram done. I am still going to refuse this procedure. I already have headaches all day long on many occasions and refuse to let anyone inject my spine with anything anymore.
Thanks for all the input from everyone.
I had this test done yrsterday.No headache or nausea yet but the pain in lower back and shooting pains down my legs is awful!
Wow, after reading all these horror stories, I am very confused on if I should take this test. I just saw my Nero surgeon today and he wants to do this test. I've had the MRI and 3 nerve blocks last yr which hasn't helped the pain in my upper back (C-5,6,7). I suffer with a lot of headaches already. YIKES! What I really hate is no DR will give me pain meds either! Not my rhumy, family DR, Pain manage Dr or the neuro I saw today. So I just suffer with back pain!!!I understand the DRS don't want to get people hooked on pain meds, but this is ridiculous! GeeDi, I guess I needed to vent.I also have psoriatic arthritis! I will start praying about it so I will receive the peace of mind that I sorely need! Thanks for letting me share. God bless you.
I have had a kidney transplant and I am concerned about having this test done because of the dye injection. Is this a safe procedure to have done or can it do damage to my kidney?
I had two Myelograms/CT scans for Cervical Spondylosis in the C4-T1 area within 48 hours of each other, the first having failed because I talked too much even though I was sedated with 1 mg Versed. The second time, they added 100 mcg Fentanyl to the Verced. I had absolutely no after effects after the first procedure, and only a slight aching at the base of my skull after the second procedure. It has now been one week since the second procedure and I have no after effects. I am 74 years old and in good health except for minor neck pain and a little numbness in my thumb and fore finger. After reading about all the horror stories about ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion) surgery and recovery, I have decided my neck pain is not debilitating enough to warrant surgery. The Interventional Radiologist (IR) that did my Myelograms said she was willing to do a Cervical Transforaminal Epidural on my neck (which my other IR and Orthopedic surgeon said was too risky). My Myelogram IR with 20 years experience did one on her 85 year old father with good success, so that's good enough for me.
i had a dis remove,it took 8hrs,he cut a hole in my spinal sack, nip two of my nerves,he did this while sewing@gluing it up,can it hurt the spinalsack when they do a myelogram
I have had three myelograms. My first two weren't bad but the last one I just had 3/22/12 was not like the other two. This one hurt. I had a terrible migraine to start with and after the myelogram it worsened for two days. The day after my legs and hips were achy and I had trouble walking because my lower back hurt to stand up straight and to walk. Over the weekend I hurt and the more I walked the more I hurt. I was very nauseous and broke out into a cold sweat from the pain in my back. I do not have lower back problems. I called Premier Radiolgy where I had my myelogram done and told them the problem I was having (which was one of the symptoms to call them about) and they didn't seem to know what to do for me or how to help me (then why do they list if it's a complication to call if they aren't going to help?). This is day 4 and I'm still having problems walking, sitting and standing up straight. My head still hurts. The myelograms that I've had in the past were not bad and I had no problems but this one has certainly caused me problems.
Diagnosed with ARACHNOIDITIS
Basically i had 2 severe accidents in the past one the first accident i hurt my lower back(L5 S1) and in the second accident i was hit by a car(i was a pedestrian).second accident happened after 8 months.I had a spinal surgery 27 years back
Never had any complain before these accidants.I was working fine lifting weights .Not even a singe problem arises.
Now When these accidents happened --

first doctor asked me about my prior surgery.As i was not aware of what they did 27 years back and i was only 7 years of age at that time.Then they relate that u might have been injected Myelogram.I was not aware of. Soo in the first MRI report(first accidant) they states the pain could be from Trauma or could be from past surgery
I asked my parent they said no dye was injected.They know this becasue my brother had abdonmal surgery before me. he was injected dye.

Now after the second accident .My condition got worse.
I was getting shooting pains trouble flushing bowel
then i had another MRI scan.In that scan i was diagnosed with adhesive arachnoiditis.

? Now,Why for the past 27 years i had not even a single problem with my lower back and
? why archhandoities is only at L5S1 where i injured the most.
? 8 months back i was diagnosed with arachodoties which changes to adhesive arachanodities .
? Well my parents arew sure i was not injected any dye

? and how the doctor can reach to a conclusion that u have past surgery soo the problem is based on that surgery.How i lived perfectly for the past 27 years.Are they backing the big companies.and Neglecting the accidants Happened overthere.Sir please guide me
plz guide me how i can explain my doctors i never had complication b4 its because of accidant
had one done 5/30/12 took the dr. 4 times in one area of lower back. he moved up a little and got it in the 2nd time. after procedure having butt and leg pain. 3 days later its slowing down so hope all is well.
I had a mylogram yesterday and the worst pain I felt was the IM Demerol they shot in my buttocks. They also gave me oral Ativan and the medication worked well for my anxiety. I was in the room and everyone was nice. The medications kicked in and I started to talk to my dr when I started to get nervous to distract me. It worked. I felt the sting of the local anesthetic and kept talking and before I knew it I felt nothing and they injected the dye and removed the needle. The dye can be nerve irritating and a little uncomfortable but it was not bad at all. I had a lumbar and cervical myelogram. It's really not that scary and I am terrified of needles in the back.
I read all of these last night before my myelogram today. It's not that bad!! Long day, got to the hospital at noon and didn't get home till 5:00, but I was in recovery eating a sandwich by 3:00. It does hurt, but if you've been experiencing back pain like me for a long time, then it's not new.:- the worst part for me was after they started injecting the dye, my head started to feel funny and I couldn't hear very well, but this returned after my equilibrium stabilized, according to the tech. I had a lumbar myelogram then ct. I did not have any pain meds, did not get nauseous (and I do very easily), and did not get a headache. It's only been 6 hours post for me, but so far only increased back pain. My lower back hurts, but I would still do this procedure again.
Jerry Nolan
I my self had to have a Myelogram 12/11 as my neurologist said the MRI was of great quality but he needed more contrast to look at my blown S1/L5. Luckey me my neurologist told me there was nothing he would be able to do for me after the 800$ MRI and the 12K +Myelogram and CT scan and a complete bone scan. I got the worst headache thru the Xmas season, for 5 or 6 days I laid in bed and tried not to move. I just had another MRI 6/12 per my doctor for my shoulder and I asked her to include a scan of the base of my neck to the middle of my back. She said I would have to have surgery on my shoulder and that I have 3 ruptured disc between C3 thru C7 and I needed to go to a neurologist about my neck. Well as usual he said I would have to have ANOTHER MYElOGRAM, for the love of GOD I thought I don't think I can handle another one. They say the odds are 1 in 10 that you will get a headache and may need a blood patch, well yesterday 6/29/12 I went for another Myelogram and talked to the Dr. About my prior problem after the procedure and he said that he would do what he could. There are several needles that they can use, and he told me he would use the smallest if possible and the also have a needle that is blunt as he put it but decreased the chance of the headache and said he likes the sharp ones over the blunt ones as he said he had a better feel for where the needle is but would and did use the blunt needle for me. He hit a nerve that ran down my right leg, I don't know how to compair it to anything but sticking your toes into a wall outlet, I told him and he said that was good and he was in the right place. Huh? Okay I said when he inserted the dye, OMG it felt like some 250 pound man was standing on his toes inside my thighs by my man parts. As he inverted the table to get the dye into my neck, for heavens sake I thought I was gonna die right there on that table. My first Myelogram felt nothing like the second as the first one was for my lower back and the second was for my neck. The first I felt no pain when he put the needle in or the dye, so I was not worried about that part only if it was going to be a repeat of the headache. Well I've said enough before I get to my point, I have no headache today so that makes me a 50/50 guy. So to anyone who has had this done before and may need it again, ask them to use the smallest needles that are dull and by all means drink a lot of carbonated fluid 24 hours prior to the event and plenty after to flush the dye. I am no Dr as you probally can tell but my Dr. Gave strict instruction to lie flat (no pillow) for 8 hours after and try not to bend for 48 hours after that. Good luck to any one who has to have this procedure and to all the misfortunate ones who do get and have had the headache from hell, bless you as you did and will need it.
My goodness I don't know if I really want to increase the already horrible headaches I am having now. I'm scheduled for a Mylegram Aug 1 and I am terrified after reading all of these comments. Someone please help!
wow!! im gonna have a mylegram done in a couple weeks and now im more terrified than ever about it. at least i know what to kinda expect. very scary!!!
I had a myelogram about ten years ago and it was a tough experience. However, it did isolate a major problem that did not show up with X-ray and MRI. So when I had to go for another one three days ago, I was anxious. The older one involved being strapped into the contraption, lots of pain after the dye was injected due to the extent of my stenosis, and almost a full day in the hospital. Things have changed!

I chose the hospital that I have recently found to have the best and newest equipment even if my deductible will be a small amount higher. The new procedure is uncomfortable from the standpoint that you do have to move from table to table and they want you to roll a bit to get the dye distributed as well as possible before the CT. But that being said, what a difference! The table is now tilted gently, you are not strapped in, the injections are quick and there was only a little nerve pain from those. Everyone was careful to make me as comfortable as possible. They took me straight to the CT, did that, and then to a recovery room with warm blankets and a big cup of hot coffee. I stayed there about an hour, and got some very detailed instructions about rest, positioning my head up that night, drinking lots of fluid, the possibilty of headache, etc. It's two days later, and I have not a trace of headache, no additional soreness except from the positions I had to take, and no reactions. I'm back to doing things just as before. Actually, this was a lot easier and much less painful than an epidural injection. I didn't have any tranquilizers or extra meds except for the anesthetic injected before the dye is placed.

Really, I feel for the folks who have had a bad experience, but I'm afraid those experiences show up more frequently. The ones like I just had aren't posted very often. They really aren't very exciting and you just move on. I am hoping my doctor appointment for tomorrow will give me some info about the new radicular pain I am having. I will ask for a copy of the radiology report for my own records, also. That has been a good thing to have in the event that doctors change or different hospitals are used. (I have had two laminectomies and three fusions, and am diagnosed with stenosis, nerve compression, degenerative disc disease, spondylistheses, and arthritic spurs. I also have developed some mild acquired lateral scoliosis. History of interventions over the past 15 years.) I hope this helps some people who are frightened of this test because many of us just don't have much trouble with it, and it is very helpful when other methods of finding dysfunction just don't work.
Kenneth C. Casey
I have Failed Back Syndrome, and possible Degeneritive Disc Disease, So three weeks ago i had a
CT Mylogram, since then i have increased Left Lumbar pain,Left hip pain and left thigh & calf
pain what could have possibly happened during the CT Mylogram to cause this severe pain i am
having? Could you please help me?
I had my first ever Mgram this past Monday. It went remarkably well. There was a small amount of pain when the local was injected but none what-so-ever when the dye was injected. I was unaware that the doctor had reached that point.

The rest of the day went like clock work. Maybe 15 minutes in recovery and then on the way home. The rest of the night was Ok too. Tuesday morning I did have a Bear of a headache but after eating the cure all, chicken soup, the headache melted away and has not come back.

Bottom line do all you can to follow before and after instructions as closely and diligently as possible.
Good Luck.
OMG!! My pain was excruciating!!! I don't know the size of needle that was used, but after they took a sample of the spinal fluid, they injected me with some type of mild tranquilizer and started the procedure, I had pain in my extremities with ton's of pressure, well that's what it felt like heavy painful pressure that made me scream out in agony, I begged for them to stop, that's how bad the pain/pressure was..they hit me with a stronger tranquilizer that calmed me down for about one minute, and then the torture was back on..I screamed in agony through the whole procedure, less the one minute of relief from the tranquilizer. I never did get a headache afterwords...just the procedure itself was the worst experience in my life, and the damage to my neck is extensive..
elaine odell
i had a mylogram in 2009 and haad no problems i am now 64 and have to have another on but my cervical is worse i am scare it could be worse i have lots of pinch nerves and compressed spinaal cord
Lynn Snow
I had a mylogram few days ago. Was a great experience and a fantastic facility and Dr. No problems except some soreness few days after in the needle area. It was very effective in that they found a problem not able to be detected by MRI or CT. Highly recommended.
Nancy Lassig
Dr. Fulp at St. Joseph's in Atlanta performed a mylogram on me this morning. I was scared to death as I had had a terrible experience in the early 1980s. In fact, I'll call it a gruesome experience. What a difference 30 years makes and getting a good recommendation for a doctor.

There was a 100% difference between the two experiences. I had no sedation; the worst discomfort was the prick of the local needle. I had no headache afterward; in fact I'm amazed at how normal I feel. I'm taking it east, today, but I'm allowed to resume normal activity tomorrow.

Thank you, Dr. Fulp.
im havig a CT mylogram on the 14th of this month,the thought of a needle going into my spine really freaks me out,i had a moss miami fusion in 1996,and am having major probs again,i really am terrifed!
I had a mylogram friday friday nov 2 2012. It has been three days and the headache will not go away. I would never do it again.I did not want to but was talked into it by my Dr's PA. I feel like hell!
I'm 74, have severe degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, now scoliosis and have lived with pinched nerves from my neck to the tail of my spine for the past 20+ years. I've had 3 whiplash neck injuries; therefore, my neck is shaped backward as compared to a normal neck. Now, my nerves in my neck are pinched to such a degree that my right arm is in extreme pain when I move it or try to do anything and the pain is in my shoulder all the way down my arm to my pinky finger. It's on the other side also, but not as painful. I went to see a neurosurgeon and he looked at my MRI's and said there were 4 places where my discs appeared to be completely gone and the spinal joints were just sitting on top of each other. He recommended I go for a myelogram, said he couldn't do "surgery" meaning a cage, etc., but he might possibly be able to use a small instrument and open up those joints some taking the pressure off of the nerve. I have a phobia for needles and nerves that most people have never experienced as far as pain goes, i.e., extremely sensitive and reactive. I had the MRI yesterday. They said they wouldn't sedate me but let me take 1 valium which I couldn't tell I'd even taken. I've been on pain meds for years and most of them I gave up soon after getting them because they did nothing for me. I have a high opioid tolerance and always have. It takes about 3x as much pain reliever for me than the average person. They said there would be a little sting from the deadening needle, but I shouldn't feel it after that. My Lord in Heaven! They surely have never had this done to themselves. The deadening hurt me a lot I'm so sensitive, then he started by putting the needle in my low lumbar area. That was really, really painful and got worse and worse with every passing second. Then, he did something that made me scream out with the most excruciating pain I've ever felt. (I've also had a double mastectomy which was quite painful but not this bad!) I think he must have gotten the needle into my sciatic nerve and suddenly it felt like he'd sliced my back open and shoved a 2" wide knive all the way down my right buttock. It was beyond any pain I'd ever had! I'd asked them to sedate me but they wouldn't for some reason, although my sister was sedated (she has MS). First, these doctors don't have a clue how it's going to hurt unless they've had it. They don't tell you there are things that can happen causing huge amounts of pain. I will NEVER have another one even though I cannot use my right arm for almost anything without severe pain. That pain is uncalled for, it doesn't fix anything, the MIGHT be able to see the spot a little better, but I think is is just another profit center in their clinics like chemo is for most people. I didn't have it after my breast surgery and am clear now for 2 years. Standard chemo would not have done anything for the kind of breast cancer I had but I couldn't take the only one that would help without first taking the one that wouldn't. Also, after doing months of research I learned that at best, the only thing that they could guarantee was 3 to 5 weeks longer life. Not worth it because I believe it kills as many people as it helps. They need to quit altering natural drugs with synthetic substances so it can be Trademarked and sold for 10 to 1000 times as much as it should cost.
im suppose to have a mylogram tomorrow 1-17-13 and im so scared after reading some of these posts, i pray i dont have a horrible exsperience tomorrow.I cant even spell right, im truly scared to the point of almost backing out of doing it.But my kids say that it will finally tell the drs what i need to have done i have suffered for 4yrs with degenertive disc disease and 4 bulging disc and spinal stinosis. i do want to be fixed if possible i know all of it cant be fixed, i also have siatica badly down both legs and a fractured t-7. i dont think i can stand the pain that some of these people are describing. please pray for me thank you.
I have a CT/Myelogram scheduled for Monday. I am now terrified. I have a history of migraines, which I take preventative meds for & have immediate help med for also. Guess I'm just going to have to settle down & take it as it comes with a lot of prayer!! I have degenerative disc disease, degenerative arthritis, an implanted neurostimulator for pain control, fibromyalgia & other stuff. My left leg is extremely painful, but also numb and buckles at either my knee or foot if I try to walk much at all. Doc thinks something is pinching on my spinal cord somewhere & I can't have an MRI because of the implant. Pray for me please!
I am scheduled for one next Monday and feel like backing out after reading all of these stories. Any good experiences?
I had a CT-Myelogram 2 days ago. The 1st Doc attempted 5 times to find my spinal cord to inject the contrast ,everytime missing either hitting a nerve shooting excruciating pain done left leg and right leg .She then calls for another Doc who made 4 more attempts leaving me trumatised until on the 10 attempt he finally found an entry point and injected the contrast.During the test I prayed and prayed offering all the suffering to My Lord Jesus in reparation for not only the sins of my past but also for the world we live in which the devil satan has convinced many there is no longer anything called sin.I pray also no one has to suffer the pain I suffer from and why the test had beeen ordered. God Bless you all in your quests to relieve the sufferings you experience daily
I'm having my myelogram tomorrow morning and I'm terrified! I've had 2 previous myelograms years ago and they were aweful! Not only was the test extremely painful the migraine when they sat me up was excruciating! The last one my migraine lasted for a few days and my hubby had to take me to the ER for the migraine they next day I believe. I have migraines anyway but these far exceeded anything I have ever felt!

I have low back problems and have had a surgery on L5 and S1 several years ago (2008). The pain and problems are getting worse and worse. I pretty much have constant low back pain, a lot of shooting pains down both legs, numbing, tingling, burning down the backs on both legs, muscle spasms and just horrid pain. I can't sleep at night because of all this. Can't get comfortable. I've been falling in the house when I wasn't using my cane, so now I keep it with me at all times. I've been using a cane since the last car accident. The pain management doctor sent me back to the neurosurgeon and he is calling for the myelogram. The pain management doctor says I have 2 bulging discs and 4 pinched nerves on both sides of my lower back. I was in the hospital for 4 days for pain management in October after going to a chiropractor. They did 3 MRI's when I was in-patient then. All 3 sections of my back and neck. He sent me back to the neurosurgeon because he said I would benefit from decompression surgery.

Then I go to the neurosurgeon a couple weeks ago and he says it's not definite I have pinched nerves. Huh?? He thinks I have neuropathy from the back problems and diabetis. Possible fibromyalgia too, not sure. But he needs me to do this test to see if I definitely have the pinched nerves. When you have bulging discs isn't that where you get the pinched nerves??

I'm totally frustrated and tired of being in pain! That's an understatement really. I'm very scared about tomorrow's test. I remember when I had the myelogram before, when they put the dye in and had me strapped to the table. When they moved the table up and down I was moaning loudly in pain. Why would the dye cause such pain? What does that do to cause so much pain?

Then you lay there for a few hours flat. But I remember very clearly when they sat my head up OMG! I was screaming in pain from the migraine. This time because I warned them about my previous myelogram and the migraine they were ready. There was a doctor there injecting something into my IV. I think he had to do it a couple times for the pain from the instant migraine. When you have bad migraines to begin with does that make you more likely to get the migraine afterwards? This was the time I had to go to the ER the next day from the migraine.

I'm reading that drinking a lot of fluids today will help me for tomorrows test. Is that true? Anybody have any advice for tomorrow? The neurosurgeon will be there to give me the results he said. I certainly hope so. Don't feel like waiting after going thru all this for the results. I swore to myself last time I had the myelogram I'd NEVER do it again. But here we go again! He said he needs this test.

Is there a doctor there the whole time during the myelogram? It's a doctor that puts the needle in right? If I'm in terrible pain during the test will they give me anything for pain if I'm screaming? I will definitely tell them about the possibility of the migraine so they'll be ready. I'm in enough pain now I can't handle the excruciating pain during and after the test. Is the possibility of the fluid coming out when they put the needle in, is that where all the pain is from? Thank you for listening to me and any advice would greatly be appreciated.
Had the procedure done yesterday at St Vincets in Jacksonville. Barely felt the needles to numb up back. And didnt feel the needle that injected the dye. However I did get some wild feelings from the dye. Started at first like a 500 pound weight was on my legs, then i was convinced i pissed myself. I even asked the nurse haha. There was some mild discomfort with the dye as it moved up the spine and after the xrays were taken i rested for four hours and released
Note: no activity the couple days following. I got up this morning and retrieved my truck from the hospitol. Bad idea. The bumps on the road and the sitting up and shifting were all aggravating the headache. Not a spinal leak thank God. But bad headache never the less.
I think a great staff made it alot better experience :)
Nancy Lassig
See number 42. If I didn't live in Atlanta, I'd travel here to get it done at St. Joseph's by Dr. Charles Fulp. The horrible descriptions sound like the myleogram I had in the 80s. It was no big deal this time. I made the mistake of reading beforehand, and I almost backed out. What a different experience I had with Dr. Fulp.
Myleograms; Stay away from them.I had one of them in 1980 in Australia using the toxic dye at the age of 19. Followed by surgery shortly after. Never suffered with headaches at all until I had that procedure and have been plagued by headaches ever since and as some of you have mentioned, these headaches have required pain injections and nausea medication which leaves you debilated for days. The pain I currently have in my back is nasty to say the least. I seem to have to tell my legs to get moving when I get out of bed or have been seated for sometime e.g travelling. The burning sensation never seems to cease and my tail bone gets incredibly sore. Urgency to urinate is now experienced as well as low libido. I along with many of you remember the procedure as if it was done yesterday. Never Never Never will I ever allow the medical profession to carry out this type of procedure on me. To add insult to injury I had a CT scan with iodine,some 9 years ago followed by hives, itching and anaphylactic shock. I am now also highly reactive to any foods or meds or supplements with iodine. Before that seafood was my favourite meal. Can't even smell the stuff without reacting now. Thanks again Drs.
I had a myleogram oct 10 1988.. Every minute of my life since then I live with nasty headpain.. Nothing but nothing helps.. All pain meds make my headpain even worse.. I had blod patches none of them helped at all.. I would not give this procedure to a dog.. dont do it..
I had a cervical myelogram done in 1988. It felt like they poured boiling water in my head. Did have an excruciating headache after I returned home but, luckily, my doctor told me to meet him at the emergency room at the hospital and he did a blood patch. Immediate relief. I have a lumbar myelogram scheduled for this coming Monday. Believe me, I will not wait days if I get a headache. As the doctor said in 1988; what was the point of my being in pain for two days. I am a bit anxious; but I am hopeful that they can find out what is going on with my back and do the right treatment plan. I have been in chronic pain since 1984. I have had a fusion in my lower back in 1987, and a titanium cage inserted in 1998. I had cervical surgery done in 1988 with a bone graft from my hip inserted. Had a rib removed and nerves under my right armpit removed due to thoracic outlet syndrome. Needless to say, I am not wanting to have another surgery unless it is absolutely necessary. After all these surgeries, I am still in pain. I am connected to a tens unit right now and wear it all night and part of the day. Thank God for Bedbuddies. I have read so much about people in my same situation. I am 62 and have been disabled since I was 37. Never dreamed back problems could persist for so long and that I would degenerate so much. I empathize with you all. I am hopeful that they will be able to help me this time.
I had this done a few weeks ago. My lower back is kind of a mess and I have a nuerostimulator that doesn't allow me to have an MRI. I hope the results are worth it. It wasn't as painful as a discogram but it did have a touch of suck to it. The first several days after having it done my back pain was much worse. I'd say that lasted 4 or 5 days. Late on the night I had it done I got my first headache. For the last 2 weeks I've been getting headaches. They aren't severe, but they seem to be often and irritating. It's been almost three weeks and I'm still waiting for results. I just hope this will answer some things I've been chasing for years.
I'm having a myelogram on wednesday. Please someone tell me these horror stories are from long ago and do not still exist. I'm scared to death and really thinking about backing the pain of a myelogram really as bad as they say? Having mine do at Harris Hospital in downtown Ft Worth. Has anyone this year had a good experience . All I can do is stay nauseated and cry because I'm scared to death.
tammy chastain
Karen, I had my second one today, this morning. Went really well. I had one in 06, at a different hospital, that was the worst! Now that I've had two different experiences, different hospitals, big difference! The idiot in 06 didn't want to get non latex gloves and was in a bad mood, he could only find small ones, he was a huge man. So he was pissed at me, and dug around in my spine for an hour. Horrible, then he grabbed someone in the hallway and that man did it right. Today I had mine done by my new neurosurgeon. Awesome this time. Only post opt problem is, like someone else said, they hit it right on the head. They said it feels like a camel kicked her in the butt. I have pain/muscle relaxers, to help and a great gel freezer pad. Hope it goes well. Good luck Karen!
I just had a myelogram done today. I will have to say the staff was great and that helps out trendmedously. I felt the numbing needles with little pressure and some discomfort. I didn't feel the dye going in until Mike hit a nerve that was just alittle horrible, but tolerable. I did have some pressure as the dye was being injected and the moving up, down, side to side was the best but it wasn't too bad. It's been 8 hours out and I have a slight headache but I do have pain to my lower back and find it difficult to sit or lay right now. But, if we can find a problem to the pain that I'm having at age 44, this is the price I pay, suffer through it. Loved the staff at CRMC outpt imaging they were great.
mrs wallace
I had one of these 3 weeks ag o. Do not do it. The pain in my head was the worst I have ever experienced. Could not stop being sick, ened up calling the emergency services. When I was in hospital they gave me morphine for the pain which didn't even touch the pain. Had total bedrest for 10 days. Then had a bloodpatch which did help.. been at home for 5 days now still bed ridden. Worst procedure I have ever had done. Never again.
I just had a Thoracic and Lumbar Myelogram with CT scan yesterday. In order for the procedure to go smooth, I insisted on receiving a sedative and pain medication. I received Fentanyl(pain medication), and Versed( a drug that makes you "forget" the procedure). It went well; I am sore today for sure, but insisting on these medications during the procedure will ensure that you stay still, which is probably the most important part. They also use xray in the beginning, to make the most appropriate choice on where they enter the spinal canal. We have to be our own advocate's, if we want things to go well. Good Luck to all.
miranda stephens
Im 19 and am scheduled for myelogram on wednesday (11-27-13) and im so scared cuz ive never had one before so i dont know what expect and seeing all these bad experiences on here has made it gonna call doctor for info and everything but you know how alot of doctors sugarcoat it and make it seem like its not as bad as it is so i wanna get answers on here.i have spina bifida at sacral area and that spot is also real tender and everything to pressure so i dont know how this will be.thanks everyone have a great day! :-)
Just wanted to post I have had LP's, CT Epidurals and 2 CT Myelograms. I was horrified after a CT Myelogram done in the early 80's and Lumbar Puncture around 4 years ago that left me with sciatica for 6 months. When the radiologist back in 2009 hit my sciatica nerve they giggled when my leg involuntarily almost kicked the x-ray tech. I have had 3 back surgeries and recently had my series of 3 allowed cervical epidural shots. They were so painful and regenerated the pain I am experiencing to the nth degree. However, I may add the doctor that did them put the medicine in slowly, asked repeatly if he should stop. etc. I endured these after conservative measures did not resolve the problem. My 1st myelogram back in the 80's resulted in the headache from out of no where in this World but it was miraculous how fast the blood patch stopped the headache. My doctor that did the epidural shots would do a blood patch if needed. Had a little headache right after but pain pills keeping it at bay. The doctor that did my CT Myelogram recently was very, very professional. Made sure he understood all of my other medical issues, went very slow, explained everything and talked to me about other things while doing it. It was painful through the hips when he injected the contrast but was tolerable. When they were taking pics of my neck in positions that regenerated the pain in the shoulder and arm but that was needed for them to view the spine. This doctor was Diagnostic Radiology / Neuroradiology. I have metal that is magnetic so I can no longer have MRId. I will be writing a letter of gratitude to the doctor that referred me to this professional and to the doctor that did the Myelogram. Hope this helps someone. Thanks and God Bless
I had my myelogram done yesterday dec 30 2013 and I ran into no problems I stayed in bed for 24 hours like I was told today feel great sorry some had problems...
Kim south
I had a myelogram about 1986 due to a slipped disc in royal surrey England, I don't remember it being painfull but due to not drinking the 3 litres of water they recommended I has such a bad headache for a whole week unable to get out of the bed, the thing is the more you drink the more you want to go to the toilet and you have the stay in the hospital bed for the day and you are not allowed out of bed you had to buzz a nurse for her to get the commode and as they were very busy it would take a long time coming and you would be busting so I only drank 1 litre, I wish they said how important drinking the water was.
I carried on having a mild headache every day for 6 months.

3 years later I needed another myelogram and was dreaded it but this time I drank the 3 litres of water and had my husband stay with me getting the commode when needed. I suffered no headache this time. The myelogram was inclusive so I had to have a MRI to confirm the results anyway so a wasted myelogram and worry

I have regular headaches and migraines every since and I have always wondered if the myelogram was the cause, after reading some of the comments on this page I think I might be right. I wish they would do a questionnaire by writing to the people who had these sort of things done in the past and if they have any after effects.
I'm scheduled for my first myelogram on 4/4/14, and I am scared to death. I am so scared that they will do something to cause the needle to pierce my spinal cord, thus causing me to be paralyzed. The headaches I'm not too concerned with, it's the possible side effects like possible heart failure that scares me.
Pam B
It's beneficial to see the inputs that others have written as my doctor didn't "warn" me of what to expect. I have suffered with pain in my neck, middle back and lower back. I've had two "failed" cervical fusions C-4,5-6 with severe chronic pain since 2001 following and auto accident in 1999. Since then, my middle and lower back have been getting worse and I was given the myelogram to examine the entire spine.
My myelogram experience: A lidocaine injection to the back inhibits the pain as the larger needle injects the dye. Once the dye is injected, pressure can be felt immediately. The Radiologist then moved the table and lowered my legs, I could feel the dye move and it felt as if dense "brownie batter" flowed into every available space within my legs. This was quite painful in both legs until the Radiologist moved the table back to a horizontal position and the pain slowly subsides. I was then tilted so that my head was pointed downward. The dye flowed into my head but fortunately not as dense as before but felt like a consistency of a thick "YooHoo". Of course, instant headache that was not relieved for about three days. Fortunately for me my headache was not excruciating but obviously not pleasant. The CT Scan followed without incident and I rested in the office for about 1.5 hrs following the 2.5 hr procedure(s) before going home. I've had multiple surgeries, multiple pain management therapies and chronic pain for over a decade. Sadly, I know pain intimately. I described this test to my husband as a "beast". I was given two days of steroids for pain and headaches following the procedure. It's been four days and I'm now back to my "normal pain". This is not a test that I would welcome in the future but I'm satisfied that the results showed my problem -- four more herniated disks (neck, thoracic and lower back). I just wanted to share my experience because I had no idea what to expect; which in hindsight may have been a good thing. My advice, stay positive and stay hydrated.
I had my first myelogram today and it wasn't a bad experience at all. I typically don't ask for sedation for any of my facet joint injections and even the painful RFI, but this one had me a bit anxious so I asked for it to chill out. The valium and demoral shot they gave me easily took the edge off and the rest was cake. The needle could barely be felt going in. I did feel pressure like there was a weight on my back as the dye went in and then when I was lowered I could feel it moving upward, but it wasn't bad at all. I've been laying down all day and drinking electrolytes and water like I was ordered and plan to take it easy and heavily hydrate all weekend. This my personal and not professional opinion, but I think the hydration part of the recovery is very important. Not sure why there are so many horror stories. I did hear that the older myelograms were bad, but the dye and the needle size is so much better these days it is a lot easier.
I had a myelogram in 2009 without much incident, just tremendous pressure. Not pleasant but I managed to get through it. I had spinal fusion at L2-L3 following. Bad surgery to get over. Now have lost discs above and below the fusion. Doctor ordered another myelogram, which was done yesterday. It was the worst experience of my entire life. I was not premedicated. I felt the lidocaine injection, which was bearable, then he inserted the spinal needle (which hurt) and began injecting the dye. He was talking to me constantly. Said I had a lot of fibrous tissue to get through, scar tissue from previous surgery. When the dye broke through the scar tissue, I felt like I was being struck be lightening. Had severe sharp pain in my left buttock and groin and all the way down both legs, particularly the left side. My pain is mostly on the right, so this was very unexpected. I was writhing in pain and screaming out and my left leg kicked up. Had bad muscle spasms in my left calf. I was shaking like a leaf and holding on to the nurse, who had moved to my head. I'm sure I left her bruised. She was great, but it did not help the pain. The doctor said that it should t be hurting like this, but it definitely was. They finally finished the lest and had me roll back over to the gurney. The nurse tucked me in with warm blankets; I was cold to the bone but also sweating, shaking and crying uncontrollably. She pushed me to the CT area and handed me off to their staff. The nurse there was wonderful and could see that I was in extreme pain. She went and got and injection of Demerol and phenergan. Said it would sting, but I did not feel it due to the extreme pain. It did work some in about 10 minutes. Seemed to take the edge off of the pain just a tiny bit. Finally got the CT completed and was moved to recovery for four hours. It took a long time to stop shaking and crying. They finally released me to go home - 100 mile drive - and I got in the car, reclined the seat, tucked in with a blanket and pillow. We stopped as soon as we got out of the city and my husband got me a Mt. Dew to drink as they instructed to drink as much caffeine as possible. Stopped again about halfway home and got a large coffee. Was so glad to get home to my own bed. I felt every bump in the road the entire 100 miles. Thankfully, I've only had a trace of a dull headache, but have had horrible pain in my left buttock and groin area, as well as my right shoulder and arm. I still break into tears every so often, and I am not a crier, so this is very weird. Continuing to take in as much caffeine as possible, and am taking my regular pain meds (30 mg oxycododone SR twice a day, with 10 mg of endocet and 5 mg of zanaflex 4 time a day for breakthrough pain, which is really constant pain. Hopefully that tomorrow will be much better, but we will just have to wait and see. I feel like I've been run over with a truck. I will never ever have another myelogram. Hope everyone else's experiences are much better than mine. I apologize for the long post.
I had a myelogram about 4 years ago. I remember nothing!! I must have been pre-medicated. I am having another one tomorrow. After reading all these comments, I believe I will ask to be pre-medicated again! I have had two laminectomies and fusions. I am fused from L3 - S1. The doctor suspects that L2 needs to be fused in. I live with a lot of pain in my lower back and in my left leg.
I'm scheduled to have a myelogram next Wednesday , 6/11/14 in cervical area. I've had multiple neck surgeries from 2003 - 2011. On front and back of my neck. I'm fused at C3 thru T1 with titanium rods , screws , wires and surgical clips. I'm very scared to have this procedure done but my orthopedic Dr. / surgeon has recommended it because I'm still in great in my neck and upper back, chronic headaches and pain in my upper extremities . I'm very terrified about getting this done. Does anyone have something they can share with me to ease my stress over this procedure ? I'm 43 years old. Thanks and God Bless !
I had a mylogram 4 days ago and the muscles in the back of my thighs hurt, and also my left ankle. Is this normal to still have pain this long after? Also my hips hurt.
hi, i was scared to death to even go to my mylo yestreday after reading these posts. however, because of my back pain and MRI resuts, i decided i needed to suck it up. i have to say, they gave me vicodin(liquid form) and versed (liquid form) just before the procedure. I felt a small prick when the lidocaine went in and some pressure but the test was not ubearable. I was super nautious all day yestreday until late in the evening but then it subsided and i ate a little something and felt better, this am, i do have a pretty bad headache but if i lay my head, elevated on a pillow, it gets better. so, it gets better with rest. i just may not be ready(24) hours later to be upright yet. i will take it easy today but honestly it was not the most horrific experience i ever went through. i think years ago it was, in fact i spoke with radiologist and PA who did the procedure and told them what i have been reading and how terrified i was, they said years ago it was actually "barbaric" but is not anymore due to teh type of needle they use and a diffrent typr of dye as well.
I had a mylogram in February 2014 before surgery. Initially, I had lower back pain at the site of the injection. Now I have a burning sensation equally on both sides of my buttocks and the back of my thighs when I am in a sitting position. Has anyone experienced any burning pain like me after a mylogram? This is unbearable. Is it ever going to end?
Had 5 mri's in less than 4 months. Started with compression fracture then developed leg, and butt pain with numbness. My neurosurgeon said the mri's don't show bad enough reason for surgury so wants me to have a mylogram. I take several medications on the hold list and I am very sensitive to going off them. I also have heard horror stories about the mylo. I told her I was not comfortable having one, and told her why. She got very angry with me and said if I dont have the mylo she will no longer see me and left the room. I thought it was my body and if I was willing to live with the pain for now everything should be cool. So now I no longer have a neurosurgeon, and will just live with the pain. Just wanted to vent
Jane Anderson
JUST WANTED TO WRITE A POSITIVE REVIEW ON THIS MATTER!!! I had the procedure done today, and it really isn't that bad. The roughest part was the numbing shot and it just felt like a bee sting for a minute, didn't have no pressure or feel anything after that shot. I was hurting in my lower back after I got back to recovery but received a pain shot. I hated that I researched the procedure before I had it, because most people only give negative feedback, don't see many positives, so I decide I would share my experience. I did have a slight headache after I got home, but I drank two cups of coffee and lots of water, and took some ibuprofen, other than that, nothing, hope this helps!!

Doctor has suggested to my father for "CT Myelography" and pacemaker has placed for heart in his body, so so cannot go for MRI.
CT Myelography has some serious side effects. so please suggest me some other technique, that should not have serious risk like
meningitis. please help me.
I read above: "An MRI will show you everything you need to know, the neurosurgeon said. "
Well, that is not true. I have rods, screws, and plate in lumbar spine that have not fused in 3 years. Titanium puts off a halo in the MRI and the CT scan, so my Neurologist needs this Myelogram I will have tomorrow in order to see what is pushing on the nerve root bundle and causing havoc. After my major lumbar surgery 3 years ago, it became infected, and as I was to leave the hospital in good shape, I was told that a second major surgery had to be done the next day to clean up the infection. It happens . . . so we move on. Research I have done indicates that if you have a major infection, there will be no fusion . . . as well as an unstable disc above (yep) . . . and often a 2nd lumbar surgery after one has failed may give short term good results followed by failure (yep). I have protocol of Prednisone and Benadryl because I am allergic to iodine. That is how important this test is to me. We need to find out what is happening in detail we cannot obtain any other way. I am praying I am one of the people who have no bad side effects. Keep in mind that thousands of these are done in the US daily and all the successful ones do not generate patients who come here to tell their good stories . . . only the relative small portion who have a bad experience come here to tell their tales - albeit important tales! When I had both of my knees replaced, I had to attend a class before the surgery. I was the only bilateral being done in the group, all others were getting one knee done. Six weeks later when I went to see my surgeon, I had to go to x-ray first. I bee bopped into the x-ray waiting room with no walking aids (had been down to a walker before replacements). I was surprised to see six of the people from the class, and they were all sporting their walkers or canes. They all looked at me practically dancing into the room and their shock registered on their faces. They all wanted to know how I had such huge success, and they had not. I asked them if they had followed the doctor's instructions for rehab exercises daily and religiously. They all looked to the floor in unison, and looked so sad. The window of doing the exercises is not more than a few weeks - do it or lose it. I learned something that day about why some people succeed and some people fail - attitude. I cried through those exercises the first 3 weeks - and wound up with a range of motion completely the same as I was at twenty.
Even though I see all of these bad posts, I know that there are thousands who have a good experience, and I am not only praying for a good experience, but I am counting on it.
hi, I am about to go in to have a myelogram done on my C spine, T spine and L spine next week. I was told it was basically a CT scan. and given a sheet of paper that had little information on it. when I called to schedule the lady I talked to told me what I needed to do to prep for the test. she did not give me much details on the test basically just that I had to have a driver. I was surprised when she said I had to have a driver for after the test and I would be there for 6 to 8 hours. I am getting most of my information fro the internet and it sounds like a lot of pain and discomfort. can some tell me a little more about the test. I have read the procedure and about the headaches and how people have issues after words. if I am in pain after the procedure will I be given something to help with the pain and if I am anxious will I be given something to help relieve my anxieties? I read that if you are prone to frequent headaches you will most likely have a headache after words is that true? should I call my doctor and get more information about this or just keep researching online? what I don't understand is why would a doctor make it seem like its not a big deal to have done when it is a big deal. I don't know if I should be worried or consider this a run of the mill kind of thing.
H Lee
I had a Mylegram done almost 3 weeks ago to check on a spinal cord stimulator her that had been implanted. Because the stimulator is not MRI compatible it was the only way to check for problems I was having with the device.I suffer from a rare nerve disease. After the Mylegram the injection site was on fire and aggravated the disease symptoms including debilitating perineal pain just below the injection doctor did not seem surprised that the dye inflamed my damaged nerves. I wish that he had told me that in advance so that I could've made a better educated decision about having it done. While the dye has long flushed out I continued to experience excruciating burning at the injection site as well as the areas below the site. I can't help but wonder if I have suffered further nerve damage due to the myelogram. Now I have to suffer not only with the disease symptoms but with the pain caused by the Mylegram.
Now I know i'm not crazy. Long story short, After a bad fall at work in 2013, MRI's results showed 2 severely herniated discs pressing on my spinal cord in my neck, 3 herniated discs in my lumbar, one pressing on the L5-S1 sciatic root nerve, severe tendinosos of the rotator cuff left shoulder, and a left knee injury-thought I shattered my knee cap. I had a cervical fusion in May 2014. I had a 2 level lumbar microdiscectomy & laminectomy in Sept 2014. The lumbar surgery was BAD. It felt like i was cut in half, sewn vack together with crochet needles, and dropped on the floor. Many complications with that surgery. Severe right sided hip and lower abdominal pain. CT scans and blood work all negative as I never had this excruciating pain prior to surgery. My legs and feet go numb from the knees down with severe arch spasms. I have almost fallen many times. A new MRI in Jan 2015 was not good. Hence the HORRIFIC MYELOGRAM in Feb 2015. The dr hit a nerve going in and it was a violent electric shock to my left hip. The needle was so painful going in! Once the dye was injected, it felt like I was being strangled to death and I thought a rocket was going to shoot out of the top of my head. I almost passed out several times. The staff said I was white as a ghost. When I got home, i followed the instructions. I had to sit completely up several times cause I could feel the dye at the base of my neck trying to get into my brain. A month later, which is NOW 3/4/15, my brain has been in a fog, ive had a dull headache for a month, ive been nauseated, and my neck and lumbar, where I had the surgery, is on fire. I cant hold my head up for more that 10 or 15 minutes at a time. My lumbar hurts SO BAD, it hurts to walk and my feet are on fire. The dye aggravated ecery root nerve in my spinal column and I have severe pain in my entire lumbar region and both hips. The test revealed extensive spinal stenosis on the left and mildly stenotic on the right. Ut also revealed a conjoined root nerve on the right at L4-5 S1 which was previously undetected. Now I know why my right hip and abdomen are on fire. I am now 50 years old, having been an athlete my whole life and a previous UPS driver for 16 years from 1985 to 2001. I have a different occupation in my field of study, but Im grieving over the body I once had and the fact that I may never be able to work again. The lumbar surgery abd subsequent myelogram were of HORRIFIC PROPORTIONS. I PRAY THAT NO ONE EVER HAS TO GO THROUGH ANYTHING LIKE WHAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. I will continue to pray for my own healing as well as those who continue to suffer. Spinal ANYTHING is NO JOKE!!
I have been reading your posts and I had to ask about my situation. First of all I am no stranger to myelograms of the lumbar. The nerve always takes a beating and i will never do it again. I am suffering the headache right now/ But today I had a cervical myelogram, I was lying on my stomach and hey lifted my chin/head up to put a towel under it it felt like my head was being shoved into the neck. I cried and cried and he said he would move onto to the stretcher and turn me onto my back. I was like this while they took the pictures. Is this normal? How can we be using Cave Man tactics with today's technology? I worked with clinical systems a few years ago and now that Im disabled I can't look into it like I would like to.
I have to have a myelogram this Friday and am terrified..
I had a cervical and lumbar myelogram on 4/7/2015, did not get a headache, but am in severe pain where they injected the dye and the muscles around immediate area of injection site and down my back and legs I am allergic to dye and had to do allergy prep is it normal to be in pain that feels like some one hit you acrossed the back with a baseball bat 4 days later getting no relief from pain meds or lidocaine ointment. wasn't expecting this kind of pain hopefully it subsides soon. was wondering if it had something to do with being allergic to dye just irritated it? gonna give it a few more days and call neurosurgeon if it doesn't dissipate.
Teresa Hester
Had my myelogram back in 1970 when I was 15. After having three children born via natural childbirth, 10 years of suffering with gallbladder attacks ending with emergency surgery (after laying around in the ER for more than 12 hours with a ruptured gallbladder)...I will have to say "Having the myelogram was the most painful experience I've ever had in my entire life!" I liken it to having a telephone pole being shoved up your spinal cord. And I definitely lost my trust in doctors after the doctor performing this test said, and I quote, "You might feel a bit of a stick and some slight pressure." They were checking for a spinal tumor but the final diagnosis was GBS. I have been physically handicapped since my diagnosis, and to this day, I place a lot of the blame for my paralysis on the myelogram. The doctor, himself, even told my parents that he put me through "a little too much." I find it impossible to believe that medical science has not discovered a more humane, less painful and safer technique for performing this barbaric test!!!
I just had a myelogram on 5/8/15. They did not explain the details of the test until I was on the table. I was shocked and scared. I was told that I will feel a little stick and some pressure. The stick was a lot more. He kept re-positioning the needle as it went in and the pressure made me try to go through the table. As soon as the dye entered my spine a pain shot straight to my head and the worst headache I have ever had. As he pushed more dye in, pain and numbness went thru my legs. My hips felt like an elephant was standing on them. I was in so much pain. Then they tilted the table and the pain lit up in my shoulders just as bad as my legs. He told me to hold on to the two handles. I could not because I was in so much pain. I scream at the Nurse about the pain in my legs and she immediately started rubbing my legs. Then they started doing x-rays before I could go and do my CT scan. Today, 5/11/15, I am still kind of dragging my legs around. Out of all the test I have ever had in my life, I count this as the worst. Haven't gotten the results yet, but I hope it was worth it. (possible 4 to 5 fusion in my neck)
I had my first myelogram April 2012. I contracted meningitis and almost didn't make it. you want to talk headache? I was in the hospital for a week. ICV 3 days. They had to keep the curtains closed and no lights for most of the week and round the clock antibiotics. This was after 3 cervical surgeries. I have had 2 more this last year 2015. lucky for me the place I go has a new doc doing them. I get a round of antibiotics before I go in and they make sure to numb me good. My last one was in April and my lower back hurts when I am on my feet a lot. I'm going to mention to my pain management when I go.
I have had back pain for years but then i had a spinal block done 8 years ago and ever since sometimes when im standing or walking i get a sharp pain shoot up my spine. I can't pick up a lot of stuff. When I do have to pick up a box or something like that I am down for days.
If I'm bent over to long I can barely walk. Every night when I lay down my back pain is so bad that I am in tears until my back finally adjust.
Does anyone know what is going on? When it happens it fast and sharp and sometimes takes me to my knees. Feels like someone is stabbing me.
Had mine done 4 hours ago. Was horrible. Have been encouraged to stay on my back with my head elevated for 7 hours - 4 hours down but bursting for the loo!!
I read all these post that horrible experiences. I can say it was not as horrible as some have expressed, but it was highly unpleasant. The insertion of needle I barely felt. IT was MD injected dye I felt all the burning and pain, but at least that passed. Now the worst part for me is when they tilted table so you could be upside down. Total head rush. I had a pretty nasty headache for a day and was pretty sore from the lumbar puncture, but overall I recovered o.k with 2 days of test. I think the best thing is to drink plenty of fluid and stay in bed for at least a day. But it is not a test I would want again.
I had my myelogram 4 days ago. Before I had it, I read all of these and seriously freaked out. My brother and sister had to talk me into moving forward and getting it done. Oh, and a quick background: deg disc disease, stenosis, spurs and arthritis. So, I listened to the nurse when she gave me directions for preparation... I drank plenty(roughly 4-5 bottles) of water the day before. And i also followed the directions for afterwards as well. I drank plenty of fluids(4 bottles of water, 3 mountain dews and some cool aid), slept with 2-3 pillows under my shoulders/head and I did not lay flat or move unless I had to use the restroom. I have to admit, the most uncomfortable part of it was the numbing shot. After that, there were some uncomfortable positions, but it wasn't near what I thought it was going to be. I don't know if I was lucky or if I just finally quit worrying about it and viewed at a necessary test that had to be ran so we could figure out what the issue is with my back. Side affects: I did have some numbness in my left leg for the first two days, but I don't have that now. For those of you reading this... don't freak out. Remember, not very many people are going to come back and post a positive experience. I wish each of you luck.
Carol Williams
I had my first myelogram 5 days ago. I insisted on having conscious sedation and an IV also in case my blood pressure dropped dramatically as it had done in the past with epidural injections. None of the local hospitals could do that for me, so I had to go out of town for it. I am so glad I did because I had a relatively easy procedure and no vasovagal syncope reaction. My legs felt very heavy for a couple of days and that is all. I told my doctor I wouldn't have the test unless I had the extra help I requested. Stand up for yourself and you might save yourself a lot of pain. Oh, I also took all my CT scans with me and gave them to the doctor performing the procedure, and he thoroughly studied them before he started anything. Good luck to those of you who have to undergo this test.
Marlyne Clarida
My only complaintso about my Myelogram are these, 1.) The Radiologist started to insert the needle/catheter within less than a minute of administering the local anesthesia to the site on my spine, despite my stating I could "still feel what was going on". 2.) The Radiologist called the local med "numby-numby" and said I would feel a "sticky- sticky", I am 52 yrs old, not 5. 3.) I was laid comfortably by a recovery nurse and being still as I has a slight head ache. One came in with the bed-side manner of a hippo in heat and lowered the head of my bed without asking. Today 7/29, I am sore in my lower back, nauseated, and stiff necked. I am not amused or pleased at this. My x-ray tech was great and my first nurse was awesome and attentive. Listen to the patient's statements and what they need. Don't tell them and push your way on them.
I have myelogram 6 days ago had a bad headache 2 days after I went to emergency have a blood patch, feel good for 2 days... headache comes back..i wont suggest this kind of test...still on bed for 6 days now...
Rebecca Fouts
Had my first myelogram Thursday..Never again...Ever All i can say is it better show something other than what my MRI's already showed(because apparently bulging discs C5-C6 and pinched nerve and impingement) aren't enough cause for concern. I Cannot stand how dismissive drs are. They also hit my sciatica during the procedure and claimed that "it just means we are in the right spot"as my left buttock and leg are spasming. I had no IV, i had taken medrol 12hrs before and 2 hrs before test as the dye causes me anaphylaxis. I also have a severe sensitivity to steroids, fainting, nausea, severe anxiety etc... When they titled the table downward my head immediately felt like it was going to explode! They gave me nothing, i suffered through the whole thing with no meds and i was in "recovery" for 4hrs. They had to give me zofran for nausea. I was wheeled out and i still do not have my sea legs back. Dizzy, nauseous, and yes i followed every protocol. I am 40yrs old, eat healthy and athletic(was anyway). I have worked on horse farms since i was 8 and have been a vet tech for the past 20 yrs. i can no longer do the kind of work i am passionate about, i can't even stand, walk more than 20 minutes without my back being on fire. I have previously broken my T6&T12 vertabrae, upon which scoliosis was found. I have always been able to push through my back pain and just deal with it. But this May, things changed, lost 60% use of my left arm, weakness, tingling and complete numbness, excruciating spasms from left side of face, down left lat, bicep and thumb spasms so severe it's sore from the "work out" ha. Ughh. I know not every BODY reacts the same, mine is tempermental and dislikes anything foreign. To make me even more uneasy, is they only did a cervical Myelogram, why not thoracic and lumbar also giveny history?!! Regardless, will never do it again. Praying for anyone that has been through, or will go through this. Thanks for reading and letting me vent. First time i have ever written anything like this before. Good luck to all!
Having my mylogram Wed. I'm really nervous. I've had two cervical surgeries. Last one 2013. I cannot have an MRI due to other medical reasons. Neck is fused 4-5 and 6-7. Due they send you home with any anti nasua meds and pain meds for the headache? I'm all ready in terrible pain! I certainly don't want to add to it! Any info would be appericated.
I had a myelogram back in 1971 prior to brain surgery (no MRI's back then). It was the most horrifying, painful test I've even endured. Now, 45 years later, I'm in need of another one because, having a pacemaker, I cannot have an MRI. I asked the doctor if they would give me anything before the procedure for sedation. When he said they don't, I told him I'll live with and die with the horrible back pain I have before I ever have another one of them. He called the hospital and they said they would give me Adavin before I have it. He keeps trying to convince me that they're nothing like they were beck then. I'm still not convinced and I have no idea how Adavin will help. I cannot stand the thought of going through those God awful headaches again and feeling the pain of then needle being inserted in my back. After reading the postes here, I can fully understand that they really haven't changed that much since my last one 45 years ago.
Just had a myeloma two days ago & began having severe headaches the second day.
Layed at an angle all day which seemed to help. standing touse the bathroom caused pain to increase
I'll cont. to drink lots of fluids and rest hope and pray this goes away soon.
Just had a myeloma for possible cervical problems causing constant dizziness with head and body movement. Had not had any problems with the procedures to day is day 3 no headaches and hopefully get some answers as to what is causing dizziness episodes.
This will be a positive report on the procedure. I had a CT Myelogram 3 days ago. After reading about the procedure on-line and the literature my doctor provided for me, I was a bit nervous because I have migraine headaches and certainly didn't want to trigger another one. But overall, I must say, it was very "do-able". The initial injection (below the level of the spinal cord at about L-2) was like a powerful bee sting. The remainder of the procedure progressed as was described. Once the table was tilted to allow the dye to traverse the Cerebral Spinal canal, I was told that I may have a "heaviness" in my legs, between by shoulder blades or somewhere along the spine. This did happen into my right ribcage and it was really intense, but my team talked me through it and assured me that it would go away. It lasted about 1 1/2 minutes, but it went away rather quickly and I felt safe and cared for during the procedure. I remained on a stretcher until the CT scan was completed. Then I got dressed in the scanner room, walked out to my husband in the waiting room, walked to the parking garage, and rode home, in a reclined seat, for 3 1/2 hours. I had a slight headache the next morning but it was relieved immediately with a cup of coffee. My injection site was sore for 2 days and I had a bit of lightheadedness and fatigue for 48 hours. Today... I feel pretty good. Just make sure you have confidence in your team and that you are in a reputable medical center where they do this procedure regularly. Ask your doctor how many myelograms they have done. This test can give information that is not possible with an MRI. I had a thoracic spinal tumor but now have complications from the healing process.
I have had a MRI, after having a back injury at work. My back and my hip all the way down to my hip has ben hurting to where I can t sleep, most of the time. I also 2 weeks after being injured had shingles on my foot and calf of my leg on the same side of my injury. Two months later the shingles cleared up and my foot dropped on the same side. I have been out of work sine Nov 2015, and now it is Feb. 2016, The Workman's Comp Dr. referred me to a Spine Dr. and now he is ordering the CT Milgram Test. I decided to research the procedure to see if it was painful. I can honestly say after reading all about this I am not going to have this done, it scares me to death, and I have so many bad vibes about it. The needle in my spine I cant even imagine , its overwhelming and scary I cant sleep because of all the worry of it. They say if you cant be still the test is not for you, well I cant be still. This isn't for me. I would rather live with my back pain, and my foot drop than to have all of this.
I'm having this procedure done tomorrow. I can honestly say I'm not nervous, even after reading all the "horrific" stories. I would rather go through this and find the cause of my issues than for the issues to continue undiagnosed. When I had my second child, they couldn't get the needle in my back until the third try for the epidural. I figure if I can handle that, I can handle whatever happens tomorrow. I know I've had one done before, and since I can't remember it, I'm assuming it wasn't a nightmare for me. Good vibes and God by my side. That's all I need.
Darlene Thomas
After reading these comments I was so scared about the same procedure I was having. The ride home was the worst of mine. I have an excellent doctor and the doctor doing it would rate 50 out of a1-10. Very gentle & caring Doctor. Find a good one and it's a piece of cake. So sorry for the ones with bad experiences. I can sure understand how it could have been lots worse.
There are 2 hospitals in town. The first I went to for my tests, a CT for my thoracic spine, and, a mylegram for my lumbar spine. First, I was called early in the morning, they wanted to cancel because of a medication I had not taken in several years. Next they wanted to cancel because they didn't have orders from my MD.(They had been sent.) Then, they wanted to cancel because I didn't have a driver. In the end, they poked me 3 times, couldn't get the needle in, and, cancelled the procedure. That was for my lumbar. I said wait a minute, what about the CT on my thoracic spine.They said they didn't have any orders. and the team walked out. My Doc rescheduled me at the other hospital, zip, zip both tests were done, no problem. No pain, no problems. I see my Doc next week. I am interested to see what he has to say. After the first experience, I wasn't sure I wanted to try again. I called and told the Doc's nurse, I asked if it was OK if I took a tranquilizer before I before the second attempt. She said yes. I have been treated for depression and anxiety for years and had the med on hand. Please don't not take the tests if you really need it, and, say no if things go bad. I almost walked out the first time. Some experts aren't, some are. Good luck.
Amy I.
I had my Myelogram April 29 and was very thankful I had no problems with the procedure. I went ahead and expected the worst, and then it ended up going quite well. I figured that since I have had a baby; had painful medical procedures in my past to get pregnant, and have had migraines in the past, that I should be able to handle a Myelogram. I was very happy that my Myelogram was a piece of cake compared to other things I have had done. I have friends that have not been as fortunate. Since everything I read before my Myelogram (like people's posts about having one) scared me to death, I thought I should make a post since I have now had mine. I thought since I had a good experience, I should post that and let people know, not all Myelogram's are awful. It depends on your body. Not everyone's body responds the same way. It's most likely not because of a physician, tech or the facility, but it's just how one's body accepts the dye and responds. I had lots of my Christian friends and family (and myself) praying for me that know the Lord and I believe in the power of prayer. I am so sorry for those that had difficulty with their Myelogram's.
I am scheduled to have a myelogram today 6/24/2016. I am scared because of the comments that other people have wrote. I hope & pray that my procedure goes well. Even tho I can't sleep I'm goin to at least try to get 5 hours if possible. Pray for me please
Mary Beth
Had my myelogram done today. They place I had it done was recommended by my neurosurgeon. I heard that people are sent here from out of state. So far it has been ok. I was a nervous wreck. The radiologist gave me 10 mg of Valium orally before the procedure. I never had Valium so I was rather relaxed. There is minimal discomfort when they numb the area and then when the spinal needle is inserted. I could feel slight pressure in my head and ears. Nothing life scattering. The. I was tilted and turned many ways. When done, I had some discomfort in my leg. They told me it was normal and would dissipate in 30 minutes. It did. Now I am keeping flat with my head slightly elevated and drinking like a camel about to enter the dessert. So far, no headache or pain. Thank God!
gina knight
I had a mylogram in the 70's massive pain after, was told by the nursing staff not to be such a nuisance, making all that fuss! Now, it's 2016 and had a horrible Vertigo, in hospital 3 days. Turns out I have 'oil spots' from that mylogram in my Cerebellum. I'll always have dizzy spells and be unbalanced (walking etc.) and not know when another Vertigo incident will occur.
No cure, and no chance of getting the 'oil spots' out.
Nancy Harrison
I am sorry to all those who had a bad experience with this procedure. I read these remarks trying to prepare for mine which was on 10/10/2016. I know everyone is different, some with worse back problems that others, some not used to pain so this experience seems traumatic, But for me however, after being scared out of my mind after reading all these comments I was terrified and spent the weekend before doing nothing but crying. It was all for nothing. For myself, this was not a bad experience. While I felt slight discomfort I did not have the pain or horror that so many have described. I would remind anyone checking out these comments to remember everyone is different and I truly believe there are as many good experiences as bad. People just don't tend to tell the good experiences, they are more likely to relate horror stories.
Patricia Cox
I had a myelogram on friday 11-25-16. I founed out two weeks before the procedure. I worried night and day about it. This is the third year, I have not been able to turn my neck full left and right. I have gone through two different physical therapist. I had an epidural and four steroid injections. Last year I had a CT and MRI that showed Spinal Stenosis. Now I am having to deal with a pinch nerve on my left side. I worried myself sick about myelogram procedure. I thought I had some idea, because of the other injections. I looked at utube the day before, which gave me even more fear. It did not show anything about the tiling table or the effects of the dye. I was worried about the needle itself. The radiologist said there will be tingling. I felt shock go through my leg. I had no control, it went straight out, shaking. They titled the table so the dye would get to my neck and head. I screamed. It is hard to describe the pain. I was moving and the doctor said don't move we have to get the other side so they flipped my head. In recovery I felt like a rag doll. I was nausea, dizzy and in pain. Today is Monday. I am still having slight headaches when I sit up. It was a nightmare.

kami turner
i had a myelogram this morning. it was horrible. those with horrible experiences, did they find problems?
Anita Merry
This is a horrible procedure. Why can`t doctors find a better way to do this. It is the only way they can find out whats wrong with me because I have had so many surgeries, scar tissue is all the way down my spine on each side. I am expecting one in a month, I am petrified because it hurts so bad. So do I stay in horrible lower back pain now and never find out why I am in pain or do I pray it won`t be so bad to do the myelogram. I don`t know what to do.
Continued... Doc was able to take gallbladder and appendix out, cuz he knew our family history and it wouldn't be long before I'd have to have it out too. Just a few years later in the early 80s my brother was having gallbladder attacks, but because like mine it was stuff full of stones, dye wouldn't even go into the gallbladder so they couldn't see they couldn't do the surgery!! He could only drastically change his diet to avoid attacks and to this day he's still got a bag of stones in his gut. So for this reason with our idiotic regulation, I can't have the procedure I need based solely on a perfectly good x-ray, but had to have the myelogram/CT which was awful enough, and now the severe headaches and nausea. Hope you can tie this post with my first one that I accidentally sent before it was done. No more myelograms for me.
Gearldean Forester
I had my myogram 3 days ago , the doctor injected the numbing medicine in my back , it hurt some , then he injected the dye in that hurt , he said he had the right spot , whatever that meant! my sister came got me drove me home , i went to bed , i was so tired and had a light headache , i took some meds , i went to sleep for hours , i woke up , started to the bathroom ,my legs were weak and numb , i held on things to get to the bathroom , by time i got there i had wet myself ! i was alone , i cleaned up as good as possible , put clean pjs on , held on things got back in bed ! until my husband came , my legs stayed numb and weak for a day , it was better yesterday and today it better still ! Praise God Geri
I am having this procedure next Tuesday. I had spinal meningitis a few years ago and had three spinal taps followed by a blood patch. Definitely the worse pain of my life, so much so that I chose
To have both my children with no epidural. Needless to say, I am absolutely terrified! Does a doctor do the procedure? A specialist? And what if they don't give me any meds! Do you get meds afterwards? I had a cervical fusion 18 months ago that has ruined my life, I am 46 years old and very limited to what I can do. pain is a daily beast in my life and I can't continue with this quality of life but after reading all this, is this just going to take more quality away? And if there is more pain than now, I truly can't live with it. Someone please please tell me something! Should I cancel my procedure? I am now crying uncontrollably and throwing up. I can't take this.
Anita Merry I understand exactly where you are coming from and I am in the same place mentally. I am having a Myelogram in a few weeks and I am scared to death. I have a Myelogram several years ago and it was a disaster! I am allergic to iodine which is in the dye. My current doctor says they get around that by giving the patient prednisone and Benadryl. Has anyone every heard of this? I had such a bad reaction to the previous injection with dye I am petrified that I will have the same reaction again! I start having severe problems breathing. I also had that horrible headache. My doctor also wants me to stop using morphine (15mg) now before the surgery. I told his nurse that I will have trouble showing up for appointments as I won’t be able to walk. They just don’t get it. Any experience with Prednisone and Benadryl would be most appreciated. I am due to have another back surgery. They want to put a rod in my spine starting at T-9 to L-6. Talk about scary.
Pamela, I would think the Prednisone or Benadryl would be helpful. I had my Myelogram a little over 24 hours ago. On the way home, ( only 2 hour recovery) I started having trouble with asthma. It got better after about 9 hours. After reading the other comments, I've decided what I thought what was a bad experience, was not that bad at all. My main pain issue was not when they were putting the dye in, but the pain in my back and legs during the C-scan. I have not had a headache. Today, I feel good.
Wishing you a good experience. .
Phyllis Said.
My husband has had three myleograms. He is allergic to the dye and was given steroids and benadryl each time. Radiologist never had an issue with injecting the dye. Each myleograms my husband has had, the dye would stop in the thoracic spine area never traveling past it. This would cause excruciating pain and pressure. Also each time, the radiologist would kind of "bounce" him on the table upside down to try to get dye to travel further past the thoracic spine. Radiologist has never seen anything like this before. Has anyone reading this post heard of this happening or experienced this "blockage"? Please let me know.
I was scheduled for a myleogram for X-rays/CT scan with dye contrast. I didn't expect this to be a pleasant procedure, but I had a side effect that was so rare that two radiologists had never seen this happen. ALL of my muscles went into a solid cramp from my hips to my toes. The cramps were so bad that my feet turned inward and curled under at 90* angles like someone with club feet would look. My knees wouldn't bend and I couldn't bend at the waist. I was board stiff. Imagine having every single muscle cramped like a Charlie horse does, but all at the same time. As it worsened, my body begin having severe cold sweats and nausea set in from the pain. This apparently went on for two hours! 😳 I lost track of time. Sometime during this 3 hour window of pain, I remember clenching my fists and visualizing Jesus holding one hand and God the other and asking them to draw this pain from my body. The radiologists began calling colleagues to find out treatment options. It is so rare that only a couple had ever seen it. It lasts for a couple of hours. They were going to send me to the ER for treatment, but I still hadn't had the CT, so I told them to get it done because I'm never doing this again. I went in for this procedure at 11. Around 2:00, Randy came in and they were explaining what had happened. I was drenched in sweat and my gown and hair were completely sweat soaked. The cramps have ended, but I am as sore as if I'd ran a marathon without properly training. The arches of my feet are the worst. The senior radiologist told me that I should never have this done again because my body didn't react normally. The radiologist who actually did this told me that he'd started reading my CT and that he thought my L5 disc pressing on my spinal cord had created such a narrow space that when he introduced the contrast dye, the pressure was too great and caused my muscles to spasm. Five days later,and I am still experiencing soreness from the muscle spasms. The only good news is that I didn't get the famous headache that so often accompanies this procedure.
I just had a CT/Myelogram done on 11-21-2017. It's very import to follow their instructions. I felt just a small prick in back. Afterwards I drank a lot of Caffeinated Coke. An I mean a lot (a 2 liter bottle). I laid down afterwards with my head elevated at 20 degree angle. I didn't have any headaches. I was able to drive home the next day.
Had a myelogram first week of November. The test itself went fine,with minimal pain, recovery room afterwards for two hours, then my neurosurgeon saw me immediately following, with results. Rode home in car with seat reclined, then layed flat as instructed until the next day, except for going to the restroom. It is very important to drink lots of fluids for a couple of days before the test, and a couple of days after the test. Anything with caffeine is good afterwards, and water. my only complaint is lower back pain since the test. If I bend over, it is hard to straighten up. It's difficult to sit on a hard surface. Lower back pain is not getting better. Rest for a few days and take it easy. Prayer definitely helps too.
carol yates
having this test done next Tuesday,scared am scared out of my mind
Steve B.
I am a 68 year old male with my second back surgery performed in Nov 2017. Had L3-L5 fusion with 6 screws and 2 rods installed. My surgeon ordered this imaging procedure and after reading all these comments I was very much considering of not going ahead with it on April 27, 2018.
After much prayer I opted to go ahead with it. My conclusion is I wish I had never read all these reviews because my procedure was almost pain free with only moderate discomfort and no after effects not even a mild headache. Procedure done in a hospital in Hickory NC not in some prestigious university hospital and it still was painless. For those considering this procedure based on my experience...FEAR NOT!
Noelle Buttry
I had a myelogram on June 18. The procedure itself was not that bad at all but I did everything they said and STILL got a spinal headache. Went in for a blood patch and within a couple days of the blood patch I have some neuropathy (tingling feet,hands, tongue and arms), had some urinary urgency but it has subsided somewhat, mild back pain that comes and goes but isn’t bad. For a few days I had these ELECTRIC jolts that went from my lower back down through the genitourinary tract. Thank GOD, have not had one in three days. My neurosurgeon who ordered it acts like there’s no way the myelogram or blood patch caused it., which is ridiculous. My friend who is a nurse practitioner says neuropathy is common after these procedures and will go away but may take a LONG time. I am terrified it is developing into Arachnoiditis though I don’t have severe back pain. It is an awful feeling not knowing if this is permanent. I will NEVER have a myelogram again and I so wish I had backed out of it.
To number 93: Marlyne Carida: Thank you so much. After reading all the horror stories and telling myself I'd have to be a total masochist to sign on for this test, I must say your entry at least made me laugh for a long time. I have some suggestion for you however - should you ever run into a situation like that one again with the idiot Radiologist who called the local medication "numby-numby" and the needle "sticky-sticky" you might tell him that you are about to give him a "kicky-kicky" in his "dicky-dicky" and see if he doesn't shut up and take a quick step backwards. No telling how your legs will react to being hit with an injection to your spine and all those nerves that could send your legs moving and shooting into places you cannot control. This might shut the "dummy-dummy" up! Thanks for the laugh - needed it after all the terror and horror of most entries!
I am ,62 years of age, and I have had in total 4 lumbar punctures starting from 1997. The first one was done after having a giant cerebral aneurysm. Fortunately this was done by an experienced young neurologist. However I went into A & E 3 times over the years and these spinal taps were not nice at all. If you do end up in Emergency do insist on a neurologist or a professional radiologist to do any invasive procedure on your spine. I had a myelogram yesterday, I was very nervous about it. However the radiologist was great and I did not experience any pain in my legs or spine , but did get a massive headache when the contrast went in. All went well and got good images. 13/09/2018
I had a bedside LP performed on me recently, which was the most horrific, barbaric procedure I have ever experienced. The pain of being stabbed repeatedly in the spine as they tried to "find" their way around the bone was excruciating, with me crying, gripping the bed rails for dear life, muttering a mantra of "you can do this, its ok. it'll be over soon." The mantra quickly turned into me begging them to stop, and I can handle a good deal of pain. I am a slightly obese woman in my 30s, and the procedure was done from a fetal position. The doctors said they only have a minor percentage of failure, and I just happened to be in that number, mostly based on being overweight and in an odd position. The next day, the procedure was done with the help of fluoroscopy -- oh my, what a difference. I barely felt the lidocane needle pricks and didn't even feel pain when they reached "the area too deep to numb". They adjusted the needle exactly as needed, based on constant x-rays being taken, and didn't touch the nerve that causes leg discomfort. No headaches afterwards, and I was on my feet and out the door two hours after. Having experienced both blind, bedside lumbar punctures and one done with radiography, my heart goes out to those who weren't as lucky as we are now with the technology available. If you're overweight or have some other kind of spine issue, get the LP done using fluoroscopy. Demand it.
I had two myelograms in the seventies and with the first one it took over a week to get over, the headaches and sickness were horrendous the second one took over two weeks. I was later diagnosed with permanent interstitial cystitis, of which there is no cure as a result of these two procedures and have lived with this constant pain since. There was quite an outcry in the seventies and people were suing Glaxo all over the world. As a result the dye used was banned. I believe the procedure is not as bad as when I had mine
Marty S.
I had a myelogram 2-5-19. I must say it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The most painful instances was the injection into my back. To me the worst part was rolling from one surface onto the table onto my stomach. I have had terrible pain in my lower spine, L-4 to S-5 since Aug 2018 with numbing of my legs and feet. I’ve had four failed surgeries, the last one being a fusion which broke three months after surgery. So after suffering from all these experiences a myelogram is a cake walk. I have a wonderful doctor who I wished everyone could go to. I went on line to read reviews. There was a couple negative reviews, there will always be people that aren’t happy with a doctor. But there was a lot of good reviews. So I was comfortable with going to him.
Lily C.
Just had my 3rd lumbar myelogram 2 days ago. My first 2 several years ago left me with "the worst headache of my life" and I did not want a repeat. I needed up in ER getting massive caffeine drips with some relief. I have an implanted neurostimulator so cannot have a MRI. My neurosurgeon said they could give me a sedative and wrote for it, but he wasn't specific on drug. I am always in pain, despite medication. A nurse practitioner was going to shot the dye in and visited me prior to procedure. I explained my anxiety and worsened pain on last myelogram, to the point that I almost stopped the last test. She agreed to give me .5mg of Ativan IV. I normally take 2mg of Ativan 3 times a day routinely, didn't think that would even touch me. I was right. When they started tilting me, the pain soared to an 11 on a 10 scale. I was instantly nauseous. So much for being sedated. Somehow I got thru the test. I had a headache the first day, but not severe, my meds helped. The 2nd day, my back is hurting, feels burning, achey. Normally, I have hip and leg pain. I am using ice today. Not sure why of this burning pain. I will never do this test again.
Had one of these back in 1994 after an accident at work. Was told it was a simple proceedure, it was. It's the reaction afterwards Sufffered severe reaction with chronic pain, ended up six days on my back in hospital. When I got out I couldn't turn around without being dizzy and nearly falling over in one way or another, still suffering from chronic pain from head to foot daily. Weather is a big factor, it could be ok for a time but once the weather changes so does my condition. Certainly wouldn't recommend having one. Dr not interested, said the pain isn't anything to do with the injection and wont give a diagnosis, decided to see a different surgeon. was told I was too mobile. think he wasn't listening. Told him as soon as I tried to work the pain sent me through the roof, couldnt return to work, never had a problem before final back surgery gave some relief. After all the years I just put up with it and take pain killers.
Debra White
I am 63 years old and had the Myleogram/CT Scan done today. I was in recovery about an hour and then went home. No issues whatsoever except a minor headache which I already had prior to the test. I am following my instructions for rest for two days. I am still slightly active around the house but trying to follow bed rest as much as possible. I think I dosed off during the procedure due to meds they gave me prior to the test. No issues for me whatsoever. Everyone is different and will experience this test and recovery in different ways. Hang in there! It is needed to get to the root of your issues.
Jennifer Collins
I have had prior discectomey surgery in 2011 for a herniated discs at the L5-S1 level. Since April 2017, I was diagnosed with 3 herniated or protruding discs, L3-L4, L4-L5, and again L5-S1. I've had several MRI's, Spinal Epidurals, and I currently visit a Neurosurgeon and the pain clinic once a month. I also have been seeing an Orthopedic Surgeon for treatment because I have a tear in the left hip joint ( Labrel Tear). I had my 1st Myelogram this past Friday, May 31, 2019. I know everyone reacts different to different things but, it was a horrible experience for me. As soon as the Radiology Dr inserted the needle into my spinal canal and started injecting the contrast, both of my legs became paralyzed from the waist down and every muscle in my legs and feet became severely cramped. This lasted about 45 minutes to an hour. After the Myelogram I was sent to the Surgical unit to be observed for a couple of hours. They sent me home and told me to rest for the next 24 hours. My problem is, every since I had the Myelogram, my legs and back feel as if they have cement in them. I feel as if I'm confused or like I can't stay focused on what I'm doing. Is this normal?
I had one did today 6.5.19..baylor college of medicine was scared but cryed when it got close to time .deaden my back with lanacane. Felt needle going in gave me another shot felt the pressure hit a nerve felt like a shock...felt dye running down took needle out pain in hip buttock back headache. Neck a home now resting wasnt bad as i thought guess i had a great doc...THANK YOU JESUS...
I had a myleoggram 7 months call ago . Ever since the procedure I have non stop craçking , popping and pain continuously. Manny times the pops move my whole head forward or back with some force. Never had this prior to this procedure. What is causing this? Numerous contacts to the doctor with no response. It is very dibilitating please help.
Melissa Quinn
I just had a Myelogram yesterday and I was nervous to the point of tears. All of the staff and the radiologist calmed my fears and I started the test. The needle for the numbing meds into my spine definitely hurt, but the dye itself didn’t hurt until it reached the location of my previous fusion at L5-S1. No headache when I left the hospital, but I woke this morning with a headache so severe that it made me vomit and now the sight of my previous surgery is so full of pressure and hurts like never before. However, my radiologist did warn me that these were normal side effects. The hospital called today to check in on me and if the headache is still so severe tomorrow, I’ll head to the ER for pain control and potentially a blood patch. I cannot have MRI’s due to having an internal stimulator and as uncomfortable as this procedure was, I am so glad my dr got the images he needed to make the right call as far as my next surgery is concerned. I recommend going in with an open mind and see how it goes for you, everyone is different.
My Dr. has suggested i have a myelogram for a pain problem that i have had for about 3 years starting with a fractured ankle going on to an unsteady gait, falling numerous times afterwards , spinal stenosis, L4 + L5, etc. neuropathy in both feet, at least 10 epidurals in the past few years and have had a simulator implanted (which supposed to solve almost 99% of those who have it - I'm not one of them) so cannot have an MRI and on and on. I'm killing my liver with pain killers which don't really help either. i'm scared to death to have this done because what if something goes wrong. Yet, I am in chronic pain 24/7 and what if that gets worse? he says i will have to stay overnight. how sedated do you have to be while having this procedure? i think I prefer to be "out" if that's possible; and is this the last hurrah or will there be another surgical procedure to aleviate whatever is going on. Thanks for any feedback.
Ronnie Wayne Graves
I have had three lower back myelograms and one on my neck never had a problem with either procedure . I have one next week I hope my luck holds after all these horror stories I just readmine were done in 89-92 -94-2000
I just had a myelogram last week. I had not read all of the horror stories. I’m glad I didn’t. I probably wouldn’t have done it and I know I needed to. I agree with most everyone. It wasnt a great experience. I was given fentanyl and versed. I don’t remember much but the recovery was not good. Headaches and dizziness. My body ached everywhere. It took me over 8 days to get out of bed without any spinning. I think recovery is as bad as recovering from a surgery. Not a pleasant experience

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