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Re: myelogram in a week...

Posted By angela on February 12, 1998 at 08:30:44:

In Reply to: Re: myelogram in a week... posted by CCF Neurosurgery MD on February 11, 1998 at 19:41:07:

: : I am a 27 year old female who was rearended by a van (i was at a complete stop over the crest of a bridge)since then i have had upper neck pain and extreme headaches that start at the bottom of my skull and top of my neck.  i have tried at home traction, PT, been on paxil and now am at the point that i am tired of this interfering with my lifestyle.  i am extremely active but have been almost paranoid about doing ANYTHING that could aggrevate a headache that involves nausea.  one surgeon told me it was a bone spur (c3 c4 level)and could not be causing my headaches and it was all in my head, the second said it was a soft tissue herniation and could possibly be causing my headaches, the third (who i feel the most comfortable with) says it is a combination of a herniation with the start of a bone spur.  he has scheduled me for a myelogram next week.  i am very nervous about this and the fact that i have yet to get the same opionion from anyone.  there is obviously something there (at least thats what they all agree on). what it is and what to do seems to be up in the air.  Of course, i am worried because of what the first doc. said.  am i setting myself up for a lot of trauma and it not be the cause.  i have never had any neck trauma before, i had severe whiplash and a throbbing in that general area the next day but the headaches started about two weeks later.  i have had headaches before but nothing like these.  they start at the neck/head area and it feels like someone hit me in the back of the head, but the pain is not sharp it is just an ache, my neck gets sore (stress?) no pain down my arm, although, it does run out to my left shoulder but not all the time.  sorry to ramble, and forgive the spellings, but i am totally confused.  do you think the myelogram will help clear anything up????     thank you, angela

Dear Angela:
It is not uncommon at all to develop very bad headaches in the back of the head following the type of injury you had. There are potentially many reasons for this including simple things such as muscle spasms from the injury or even more serious problems such as injury to the blood vessels to the back of the brain.
A myelogram can be very useful in providing information regarding a process that may require surgery. It is however an invasive exam and is not typically the first choice for defining disease in the neck.
If you have not had an MRI yet (of the neck), you should probably ask your doctor if getting an MRI is not more reasonable at this point. If you have had an MRI, then a myelogram could be useful in determining whether there is compression on the spinal cord or the nerve roots which may require surgical intervention. I hope this information helps.
Good Luck!
dr. ccf  :)  yes i have had a MRI, in fact i have had to one here in my small town and one at a bigger "better" hospital.  they referred to it as a highend MRI.  will they be able to tell all the things you mentioned above?  blood vessels etc?  are there any lasting side effects to a myelogram?  what is your opinion in my situation, where no two doc's can agree on a diagnosis?        thanks again, angela
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