myelogram and CT

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Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 5/1/2012 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
What does CT stand for? My main question is are myelograms as horrible as what I've read? I am not sure if I am having a lumbar myelo or cervical. I'm thinking cervical because I had surgery/fusion on neck in 2009. Now I need a laminectomy on lower lumbar for severe spinal stenosis, and neurosurgeon wants to do myelogram to see everything about my spine, since I've had a serious neck surgery before - and I have healed beautifully from that. It is difficult for me to walk heel to toe and my gait isn't normal. Doctor suspects neck nerves are compressed causing part loss of my equilibrium. He needs to see before he operates on the lower back he said. Also I do have hardware in the neck and MRIs do not pick that up very well - so reason for myelo to get better picture.

I have read some not so pleasant stories on myelograms - even about the recovery, and I've got myself so worked up. I want to think that techniques have been improved; however, I will be at Methodist Hospital in Houston and it's one of the best.

Just anxious to hear from you who are familiar with this procedure. Guess I need a little encouragement :) Thanks.

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15875
   Posted 5/1/2012 9:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Scorpio-girl, CT stands for Cat Scan, when a myelogram is done the dr also has a CAT Scan done while the contrast is still there. This is standard pretty much with all drs. From what you are saying this seems to be your lower back involved and I would assume he is doing the myelogram just on the back and not your neck. If you were having problems with your neck as well then he would do a complete myelogram to include both areas. But, since I am not a dr maybe he is doing both areas, this is something you should have asked him. If you have a good technician you should do fine. They now use a water soluable contrast instead of an oil base and that is the one that made people so sick. After you are released from the facility to go home, you should go home and rest in bed watching some tv or taking a nap and drink plenty of fluids to flush the contrast. My daughters friend went shopping right after having her myelogram done and she was very lucky that she didn't get a bad headache.

The myelogram is more definitive than a CT or MRI, it shows the nerve roots to see how they fill with the contrast, kind of like a road map of your back is what my neurosurgeon told me.

Quite honestly, I would not do any further reading because all its doing is upsetting you and scaring you. Yes, they have been improved a great deal. You could ask your dr to let you have something to calm your nerves the day you have the test done, he can do that. The myelogram is one of those things if you line up 10 people and ask their experience each person may try to out do the other on who had the worst time, for some reason sometimes people will embellish things especially when it comes to procedures. When I had a hysterectomy, I made the fatal mistake of asking too many people that had one, by the time my day rolled around I was a basket case and guess what, it was not anything like what I had been told.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing. Take care...Susie
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 5/2/2012 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
thanks stray. Feel better after reading your post and thanks for encouragement. I'm sure everything will be fie :)
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