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Learn More about a 
Myelogram Procedure

Scheduling and Directions

DeKalb Medical offers myelogram, a special test most commonly used to detect abnormalities of the spinal cord and canal such as herniations, spinal stenosis, tumors, infection, inflammation and spinal lesions.

A myelogram is a procedure that uses a special dye and X-rays to make pictures of the bones and the fluid-filled space between the bones in your spine. The dye helps produce clearer images of the nerve roots and spinal cord.

A myelogram may be used to find a tumor, an infection, problems with the spine such as a herniated disc or narrowing of the spinal canal caused by arthritis. It also is used to check for the cause of arm or leg numbness or pain and problems with blood vessels to the spine. A myelogram procedure may help find the cause of pain that cannot be detected with other tests such as an MRI. The myelogram procedure will be done in combination with a CT scan.

A radiologist who is specially trained in reviewing your images will promptly analyze your images and provide a report to your physician about the findings of your myelogram procedure. Your physician will share the results of your myelogram with you.

Read more about a myelogram.

Preparing for Your Myelogram Procedure

When having a myelogram at DeKalb Medical, you should increase your fluid intake the day prior to your exam. Then after midnight you should not have anything to eat or drink. Continue to fast until your myelogram procedure is complete. If you are a diabetic, ask your physician for special instructions.

It is very important to ask your physician about any medications you are taking because some medicines can interfere with your myelogram.

You will need to have someone drive you home after your procedure. Most myelogram procedures last about one hour, although you need to arrive two hours before your test to register, obtain lab work and complete your medical history. After your procedure is complete you will stay an additional three to four hours for observation.

During Your Myelogram

You will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area where a needle will be inserted into the spinal canal. You may feel pressure or a brief tingling sensation during insertion of the needle.

When the needle is in place, you will be given an injection of contrast material to help the area show up better in the X-rays. Multiple X-rays will be taken, and the X-ray table may be tilted or you may be asked to move in different positions to distribute the contrast material throughout the spinal canal. After your myelogram is complete, a CT scan will be done to get more detailed images of the area.

After Your Myelogram

Occasionally you may get a headache after having a myelogram. These tips may help reduce the chances of a headache

  • Once home, you may lie down with your head elevated 30 to 45 degrees for 12 hours after the exam.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before and after your exam, unless restricted by your physician.
  • Limit walking to only when necessary.
  • Make arrangements for someone to stay with you overnight.

A radiologist who is specially trained in reviewing your images will promptly analyze your images and provide a report to your physician about the findings of your myelogram at DeKalb Medical. Your physician will share the results with you.

Scheduling and Directions

Your physician will contact DeKalb Medical to schedule your myelogram procedure for you.

If your myelogram will be performed at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur, you will go to the hospital’s central registration area.

  • From North Decatur Road, enter the hospital campus via Wash Lively Road.
  • At road end, turn right. (Note: If you are in a wheelchair or need to be dropped off at the entrance, turn left and proceed to the Central Registration patient drop-off which is on the right just past the main hospital entrance. Your driver should then turn around and continue to the Visitor/Patient parking deck.)
  • At stop sign, turn left and park in the Visitor/Patient parking deck.
  • Take any elevator or stairs to the 3rd level.
  • Proceed to the Pedestrian Bridge to the hospital.
  • Take bridge straight ahead to the escalators.
  • Take escalators down one level.
  • Once off escalators, turn right and immediately left and follow the directions to the hospital main lobby.
  • Proceed past the hospital Gift Shop on your right.
  • Once in the main lobby, follow the hallway to Central Registration.
  • At the end of hallway, turn left.
  • Central Registration is on the right.

If your myelogram is being performed at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, go to the hospital’s registration area.

  • Park in the hospital parking lot.
  • Proceed to the main entrance of the hospital.
  • Registration is directly on the right – you must register before proceeding to the Imaging Department.
When you have completed registration, a staff member will direct you to the Imaging Department.

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