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myelogram complications
My pain management dr has ordered a myelogram to be done on my back. I had a spinal fusion S1-L4-L5 in 2004 which failed and have had severe pain ever since to the point of disability. The pain mgmt Dr did an EMG in Feb and it showed degenerative disc disease (which I knew I had), nerve root compression and neuropathy. So now he has ordered a myelogram. He said that the pinched nerve is new and he wants to find out how severe it is. He said it is one level up from my previous surgeries of S1-L4-L5. I had a myelogram several years ago and had a severe reaction to it and was hospitalized for 6 days because of it. Also I have severe allergic reactions to the dye in CT scans and asked the dr if this dye is the same. He told me that they use a non-allergenic dye for myelograms. From what I am reading online that doesn’t seem to be true.

In addition, I am a brittle diabetic and take 6 insulin shots per day. I also suffer from chronic pancreatitis and the dye in CT scans always sends me into acute pancreatitis. I have been told by my panc specialist not to allow them to use dye on me anymore because of that. And I have moderate aortic stenosis which will require open heart surgery at some point.  

My question is – with all of my conditions and particularly the hardware in my back, the allergy to CT scan dye and past history of bad reaction to a myelogram, would I not be better served by having a MRI instead? If it were you would you say no to the myelogram? I have no intentions of ever having another back surgery so I don’t know what my pain mgmt dr is hoping to achieve by having me take a myelogram. Would a MRI show what he needs to know about my nerve root compression?

Thanks!



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178107 tn?1315951230
Bless your heart, I'm so sorry your having such a rough time. I have had a two level  cervical fusion and the problem I had with a myelogram was I had to have two blood patches due to it not clotting off.  With your past bad experience with a myelogram I'm suprised the doctor didn't want to do a MRI.  If I were you I would ask him why he would rather do a myelogram.  Good luck.
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My wife also had Laminectoies and a fusion on L5-L5-S1, it also left her disabled and also had an allergic reaction to the dye called Pantopaque.
Now 30 years later a neurosergeon sent her for another myelogram and she had another allergic reaction to the new dye.  Right now she is in the Critical Care Unit of our Hospital "Parkwest in Knoxville TN" recovering from this latest disaster, I agree with the prevoius comment, see if you can get an MRI
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