When physicians need to detect injuries, lesions, or tumors on the spine, they have a radiologist like Sim Hoffman perform a myelogram. This is a type of radiological technique that is used to build up an image of the spinal cord. Due to the mineral content of the spine, it can be extremely tough to find any kind of issue or injury.
The procedure begins with a spinal tap being performed on the lower region of the spine. Once this is completed, the radiologist injects a contrasting dye into the spine. At this point, you may be placed on a rotating table and strapped into place. The table is then rotated, so the patient is upside down for a few moments, before being returned to a normal position. This allows the contrast dye time to spread through the spine. From here, x-rays are taken of the affected area and a blood patch is used to seal the wound made to the spinal column.
This type of procedure may be completed in order to diagnose a variety of different disorders that are related to the spine. If you have numbness in your arms or legs your doctor may request a CT myelogram. It is also used to check for spinal stenosis or a narrowing of the spine. It is also used to determine if you have any tumors or infections along your spinal canal.
While myelograms aren’t used very often these days, it can be a great tool for radiologists like Sim Hoffman to build a three-dimensional, computer generated image of the spine. If you have been experiencing spinal pain, and diagnostic tests like a CT scan or MRI are inconclusive, you may have to undergo a myelogram procedure.