What to Expect During a Myelogram

A myelogram is used to detect issues with your spinal canal. The test combines X-rays and computed tomography (CT) to create images of your spinal canal.

Before Your Myelogram

Please arrive to your exam one hour before your scheduled time. Bring your physician's order, insurance card and photo ID. You will need to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, before your test, according to your physician's instructions.

You should not eat any solid food after midnight the day before your exam. You can drink clear liquids as instructed.

You should let your healthcare provider know if you are or may be pregnant, have any bleeding issues, take any medications, have allergies or have had back surgery or pain.

Please arrange for a ride home after your exam is complete.

During Your Myelogram

You will receive a local anesthetic in your back for this exam. Contrast fluid is then injected into your spinal canal. A small amount of spinal fluid may also be withdrawn. You will lie on an exam table as the X-rays are taken.

If you are also having a CT scan, you will have it after the X-rays are completed.

After Your Myelogram

Please plan on staying two-four hours after your procedure. You should relax for the rest of the day. If you have a headache, lie down with your head raised and be sure to drink plenty of water. Contact your doctor for your results or if you experience a headache that lasts for two or more days, if you have a fever, if you have lasting pain in your back or tingling in your legs or groin.