A myelogram is a procedure used to look at the spinal cord and subarachnoid space for abnormalities. A myelogram maybe ordered for a herniated disc, bone spur, stenosis (narrowing of the canal) suspected tumors or infection in or around the spinal cord.


  • Do not take any blood thinners or anti-inflammatories for 3 days prior to exam.
  • Do not eat or drink 4 hours prior to exam
  • Bring a driver


You will change into a gown and lie on your stomach on a table. After your back is cleaned with an antiseptic soap and a numbing injection is given, a needle is then inserted into the spinal canal. It is normal to fell pressure while the needle is inserted. The radiologist will remove some spinal fluid and inject some contrast material into the spinal canal and then the needle is removed. The table will be tilted in various directions to help move the contrast around your spinal cord while pictures are being taken. Tell the radiologist if you feel any numbness, tingling or headache during the procedure.


Your vital signs will be monitored before allowing you to go home. Once you are discharged:

  • No driving for 24 hours
  • Keep head elevated at a 45 degree angle for 24 hours (DO NOT LAY FLAT)
  • Drink plenty of water
  • No strenuous activity for 24 hours

Headaches may occur after a pyelogram. However, call our office or go to the emergency room immediately if:

  • The headache persists for longer than 48 hours or if it becomes severe
  • You have a fever
  • You have a stiff neck or trouble thinking