Medical terms can be a little difficult to understand. The very first time when you read a medical word, you are often left confused. There are two reasons for the confusion. One is how to pronounce them, and the other reason is the curiosity to know about them.
Hopefully, I will be able to help you with the second reason.
We see a doctor whenever we fall ill, but why? Why do we see a doctor?
It is because we want to know the reason behind our illness, if we are suffering from some issue, we need to know what it is. Similarly, to investigate more about what we are suffering from, doctors also need a helping hand, and their helping hand is their diagnostic tool. These tools help them confirm the diagnosis.
Diagnosis is the confirmation of the actual disease you are suffering from, along with its cause.
One such diagnostic tool is a myelogram. It is a diagnostic imaging test done by a radiologist.
Who is a Radiologist?
In simple terms, whenever we get into an accident and break our bones, our doctor refers us to a radiologist to get the X-Ray done to know if which part of our bone is affected. Similarly, when we suffer from a head injury, the doctor advises us to get CT-scan done. Both of these tests are diagnosing tests. A radiologist is a medical doctor is a specialist in these diagnostic tests.
Myelogram called myelography is a test usually done to detect issues in our spinal canal. A large population suffers from spinal canal problems. Our spinal cord is the backbone of our body. Due to work or poor posture, we are likely to put pressure on our spinal canal.
Here is why myelogram is preferred:
- It is painless
- Comparatively safer
- This test lets the radiologist view structures and different areas of the spine that are not visible on x-ray
- Do not have any side effects on the body.
- After the test is over, no radiation remains in the body.
Minimal chances of risks to occur, but every coin has two sides. To be aware of the negative aspects is equally important.
- If radiation exposure is extreme, then there are slight chances of cancer.
- Unwanted Headache.
- Nerve injury due to the test procedure, causing bleeding.
Indications for Undergoing Myelography
You might have to take this test if you are suffering from any of the following issues:
- Spinal Cord or brain tumors
- Injury of the spinal roots or nerves
- A condition called Ankylosing spondylitis, in which your spine becomes stiff like a bamboo
- Degeneration of spinal tissues and swelling of bones, resulting in narrowing of the spinal canal.
- Disc Herniation (disc bulges out and presses on spinal nerves)
- Infection of the spine
- Inflammation of the membrane that covers the spinal cord.
- Trauma causing spinal lesions.
The entire procedure will be explained to you by the doctor. There is no reason for you to worry. Natural stress can occur for first-timers, but you will eventually feel comfortable.
- Before the procedure starts, written consent is to be submitted.
- Remove clothes and jewelry, as it interferes with the procedure. Metal is contra-indicated.
- You have to lie on your chest during the procedure.
- Your back will be cleaned with a sterile solution.
- A needle is inserted into a space where spinal fluid is located. Slight pressure is felt, remember that you are strong enough to handle it. Positive attitude matters.
- You will be moved in different directions stability is provided to you with a special brace. Don’t stress thinking you won’t be able to remain stable.
- After the test is performed, the needle is removed and pictures are taken.
A sense of relief, clearly visible on your face. No one likes such tests, and that is quite natural and understood by the doctor. Complete precautions will be taken to make you comfortable.
Certain things will happen to you after myelography, read to know:
- A feeling of numbness in your lower body.
- Tingling sensation in the legs.
- Might feel a slight pain, where the needle was injected.
- A nauseous feeling is likely to surface.
- Stiffness over the neck.
- Inability to urinate
- Headache for a few hours. If it lasts for more than 24 hours, consult your doctor for further guidance.
- After the test, you will be advised to take rest for an entire day.
These are general instructions, more detailed instructions will be given to you before, during and after the test procedure.
Your health is equally important for the ones treating you, trust your doctor, and you are your biggest motivation to go through.