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VinG 06-27-2013 10:55 AM

CT myelogram
After my surgeon got the results from the EMG, he wants me to get a CT Myelogram. Has aynone had this? what's it like?

ifeelyurpain 06-27-2013 01:12 PM

Re: CT myelogram
Yes I have. They will put you on a table and secure you as they will be tilting the table. They will inject some dye into your spinal fluid, then tilt the table slightly so your head is down and the dye will run into your neck. Then they will take some x- rays. After this they will roll you down to the CT machine and do a scan. I was very nervous but it wasn't so bad. I did feel an intense burning in my leg when they injected the dye but that was quickly over. They will keep you in a recovery area for awhile.

You have to go home (with someone else driving) and be still for about the next 24 hrs or else you will get a very bad headache. Also you have to stay in a reclined position I believe. Can't remember exactly as mine was about 3 yrs ago. I followed orders and only got up to go to the bathroom but still got the headache. Had to go back to the hospital and have a blood patch done to cover the hole in the spine where fluid is leaking out. This is what causes the headache. The blood patch is when they take blood out of your arm and inject it in the spine. They will then send you back through the CT scan to be sure they hit the right spot. It does get rid of the headache instantly.

I know it doesn't sound pleasant but it really wasn't all that bad.

xilch 06-27-2013 02:03 PM

Re: CT myelogram
Hi VinG --- I, too, have had a myelogram, followed by a CTScan. It's a very 'telling' exam -- even does better photos than an MRI (or so my doc said). They will explain everything thoroughly to you as to what is going to happen; they will numb the area while you are lying on this table, comfortably covered except for your spine; then they numb the area slightly so you won't feel the needles; the tilt down will be a little on the long side......but they will probably talk to you the entire time and it will hopefully be over before you know it. They will tell you very strongly NOT to raise your head while they roll you over on your back for the CTScan portion of the test. My CT was even in a different hallway -- but I was not uncomfortable in any way. I didn't have pain, nor did I feel the needles. After the scan I was rolled down to a recovery room......where I waited well over 6 hours......just resting and watching TV. The whole experience was LONG more than uncomfortable.....but the important part is to follow their directions---and be willing to keep your head back even with the rest of your body....or that horrible headache will come. You will need to be careful for a few days following as well. The test is so very important -- and will tell your docs the info they need to see. I wish you well with it all.

VinG 07-22-2013 09:50 AM

Re: CT myelogram
Had my CT myelogram last week, and am looking at the report...UGLY!!!

long story short...moderate/severe bilateral formaninal stenosis at EVERY level, [B]even the ones that are fused[/B] (which I don't understand. C7-T1, T1-2 disc degeneration, canal stenosis impinges the cord at T1-2.

I haven't spoken to my surgeon yet, but it looks grim.

It looks like a lot of surgery and/or a lot of misery/pain meds for the rest of my life.

ifeelyurpain 07-22-2013 12:12 PM

Re: CT myelogram
So sorry to hear that!! I hope your surgeon can give you some answers and maybe some reassurance that your future won't be quite as bad as your fear. Hang in there and keep us posted....sending you many good wishes!!

WebDozer 07-22-2013 01:47 PM

Re: CT myelogram
I'm certainly sorry to hear about that, Vin. I wonder what's causing the foraminal stenosis? Are there still some things coming off the vertebrae and into the foramina, or is the crowding coming from the facets? If the latter, then foraminotomies could be the ticket.

I hope you can find out, and let us know....

VinG 08-01-2013 08:10 AM

Re: CT myelogram
I spoke with my surgeon last night. It looks like more surgery is in store for me. Last year I had c3/4, c5/6/7 fused. c4/5 and c7/t1/2 have deteriorated since last year. So, he wants me to meet with him and the neurologist who evaluated me to discuss the options. Not happy.

WebDozer 08-01-2013 10:32 AM

Re: CT myelogram
That is remarkably fast for adjacent levels to deteriorate. Any explanation from the surgeon?

VinG 08-12-2013 10:08 AM

Re: CT myelogram
I have a new appointment Wednesday with an upper echelon neurologist...Neil Young went to him when he had his aneurism 5-6 years ago. My surgeon wants HIM to do another EMG and assessment as a 2nd opinion (actually 3rd).

The whole left side of neck, both shoulders, left arm, and the left side of my face hurts (about an 8 w/o pain meds, 5-6 w/ pain meds). There's occasional twitching in my left hand, and in my temples (wierd).

Any suggestions of questions to ask this neuro guru?

VinG 08-17-2013 02:52 PM

Re: CT myelogram
The neurologist said that he does not believe there is any nerve damage. He said that it's a difficult decision as to surgery. He definately sees severe canal and foraminal stenosis from c4-t2. I am speaking to my surgeon on Tuesday. He was reading my surgeon notes a little outloud and the notes read "I believe patient needs posterior stabilization..." then he stopped. I said, "what does it say?" he wouldn't repeat it. He just told me to talk to my surgeon. THE PLOT THICKENS.

VinG 08-22-2013 05:02 PM

Re: CT myelogram
So I spoke with my surgeon yesterday and he is recommending more surgery. It will be posterior surgery, fusing c4/c5 and c7/t1. So, essentially my neck will be fused from c3 to t1. He also said that he would work on other areas that need to be "cleaned up".

Is there anyone on this board who has been fused to this extent c3-t1? He said that I will be able to turn my head from side to side, but my up and down may be limited.

I am very depressed and concerned about this. My wife and I are going to meet with him on September 11th to talk about it in more detail.

WebDozer 08-23-2013 09:28 AM

Re: CT myelogram
I think I've seen two posters here who've been fused that much. Jennybyc was one.

How is your C2-3?

roadiez 08-24-2013 05:01 AM

Re: CT myelogram
I've been fused from C4 to T1. As far as the up & down & side to side I have had no problem doing that time to time through out the day. It's when you must do it numerous times then it's a whole different ball game. On range of motion(ROM) I can say some has been cut down. You will feel pressure while moving your head. & you won't actually know where you stop is different. Others might. But you will just stop.
I was/am an OTR truck driver. I have yet to go back out. But I am trying to find a job to let me. I am trying some part time convenience store work. But not sure it will work out also. I worked every other day this week. And now I am in a lot of pain & lots of neuropathy radiating down my left arm like prior to the surgeries... So just letting you know that your world will change on some aspects after the operations. And yet some will stay the same.

Also as far as you being so depressed about this... I actually would not. I would be concerned. As far as wanting & hoping for the best out come as possible. But don't get so worked up it blows you into a full blown depression. I was worried greatly & my two surgeons really reassured me.

Yes, I was/still am fighting my own depression. But if you are confident in your surgeon that will put your mind at some ease on those aspects.

Please remember your not as young & nimble as you used to be. Take it slow do your PT & do not over do yourself.
All will be fine.

Also make a list of all the questions you have. All the worries as well. Being in a major depression bout will hamper your outcome from the surgeries.

I am not a licensed medical practitioner & I am just stating from what I have learned from my own personal experiences. Best of luck to you & your wife.

VinG 08-25-2013 12:27 PM

Re: CT myelogram
Those levels look ok on all the scans that I have had. I am concerned that they are next if I have this surgery, because that is the point where all the ROM will come from. So, they will rare out, too.

VinG 09-14-2013 04:47 PM

Re: CT myelogram
More surgery...posterior fusion, c4/5, c7/T1.

I met with surgeon this week. He did say that surgery was not mandatory like the 1st (cord compressed), but if I wanted the pain to go away it was. Pain "could go away by itself eventualy" because I already beginning to fuse on own, but no decompression.

Not sure how to feel about this.

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