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Old 02-10-2008, 07:24 PM
Shanti Shanti is offline
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Post Myelogram vs Contrast MRI

I keep thinking about my upcoming myelo. LOL But what I am also wondering is, wouldn't the myelo show what a contrast MRI wouldn't? I asked the NS why the myelo and he said to look for calcifications, but now that I am thinking about it all...is there a reason why he would want both? Is it standard for those that have had previous surgeries (mine was a partial discectomy)-or even those that haven't- to have both done before surgery maybe as a guide or something? I just thought that myelo's showed what an MRI did, and everything they didn't. Now, he was concerned about my thoracic and my myelo is of both L and T spine, whereas the contrast MRI is just lumbar. Just my active brain at work. This is just all so new to me.
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Love & Health To All,
Shanti (Find me on MySpace & Facebook)

DX's: L4/5 herniation ('98), DDD, DJD, T11/12 herniation w/endplate changes & 10% wedging/focal kyphosis/canal stenosis, cervical spondylosis C4-6, endplate changes L1-S1, L4/5 reherniation ('08), L5/S1 canal stenosis/central herniation ('08). Surgeries: Failed L4/5 IDET ('99), Failed L4/5 open microdiscectomy ('00), L4/5 TLIF (April '08).
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:35 PM
Nana4&cntn Nana4&cntn is offline
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Shanti,

I have always had both the myleogram and the mri. They both show the surgeon what is going on both with the bones and the nerves, the myleo shows any inpingement in nerves, also any canal concerns in the thecal sac. That is how it was explained to me. I think it s very conforting when they map so to speak the spine. That way the surgeons know exactly whats going on.

Take care,
Kathy
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:38 PM
Mark N Mark N is offline
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I don't have the exact explanation but I would guess your doctor has the MRI info he needs and a contrast MRI wouldn't tell him any more. He is doing the myleogram to see whether there is nerve impingement that isn't evident in the MRIs.
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1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:03 PM
Shanti Shanti is offline
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Thanks Kathy!

That's my thinking. I would definitely want him to have the most/best info possible.

Mark- That's what I thought also, but the nurse said that the base MRI's are crappy pics (which I agree...LOL...they are pretty grainy), so I guess it seems possible that it's a mixture of the 2 thoughts??
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Love & Health To All,
Shanti (Find me on MySpace & Facebook)

DX's: L4/5 herniation ('98), DDD, DJD, T11/12 herniation w/endplate changes & 10% wedging/focal kyphosis/canal stenosis, cervical spondylosis C4-6, endplate changes L1-S1, L4/5 reherniation ('08), L5/S1 canal stenosis/central herniation ('08). Surgeries: Failed L4/5 IDET ('99), Failed L4/5 open microdiscectomy ('00), L4/5 TLIF (April '08).
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:48 AM
Mark N Mark N is offline
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Shanti, just give your doctor a call and ask about the need to have a contrast MRI [there is a class action lawsuit about contrast that have cause problems] along with the myleogram. It would be interesting to hear his reasoning.
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1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2008, 08:42 AM
White Light White Light is offline
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Thumbs up RE: Myleograms vs contrast MRI

Shanti,
A myleogram will do one thing that the MRI Imaging won't and that like a Discogram is it will create a pain and sometimes a severe pain in every part of your spine that there is a problem. This pain will let your surgeon know where to isolate and concentrate on to help in your healing process.

A Discogram will recreate the pain you feel at it's worst at home or whenever and isolates that number disc as a problem. A myleogram similiar yet different will create a pain in every injured spot of the spine usually, thus putting a very specific mark to which the surgeon can concentrate on and helps to decide when comparing the MRI to the pain spots on what type of surgery will be done as well as where they will be opening you up as well. This is a good thing so don't worry, sounds like you have a great surgeon.

This is why a surgeon will do a myleogram over a contrast MRI is that there is several spots to contend with and this will show which is causing you the most pain.

As per what Mark N says Yes! there is a lawsuit with the contrast MRI, but it has to due with the type of dye medication being injected into the body that was causing some patients to have a problem. Most Hospitals are using a different type of solution due to the lawsuit so you would be alright. Good Insight by Mark N though, Thanks for looking out for a fellow member. Hope this helps you!

God Bless! Yours Truely,

White Light
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:52 AM
Mark N Mark N is offline
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White light, I also should have pointed out that I have had several MRIs with contrast without any problems. It is good to hear that most haven't been using the offending dye.
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1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:34 AM
Nana4&cntn Nana4&cntn is offline
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Shanti,

Since white light brought it up, a Discogram is a difinitive test to identify whether a disk is torn or leaking. I is very painful as you need to be awake. The doc will shoot dye into several discs they don't tell you which ones. This is done under Floroscopy, when dye is inserted into a bad disc there is tremendous pain, it goes away pretty quickly. This test is what finally identified my need for surgery. The MRI and Myleograms did not find the problem. Please do not let anyone shoot anything into your spine w/o Floroscopy. I don't mean to scare you. It is something I had to learn by experience.

Kathy
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2008, 11:47 AM
Mark N Mark N is offline
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Shanti, Kathy is right that it is very important to be sure the doctor is using a fluoroscope while doing these procedures. Like Kathy, my scans didn't show the full extent of my trouble and it wasn't until my discogram that it became clear and it pointed to the pain generators. I had IDD and that isn't easy to see with film but not many people have this disk problem. I hope your doctor is able to determine what is causing your pain.

Kathy, the pain from my discogram kept me from walking for over a week. Of course, that is what happened during my worst spinal episodes.
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1979 spinal issues, 1993 lumbar microdisectomy L3-4, 1996 360 3 level lumbar fusion L2-5, 1999 open thoractomy fusion T8-9,
2002 C3-7 herniations and T4-7 herniations, 2004 total disability, a new limited life
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2008, 08:35 PM
Shanti Shanti is offline
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Thanks for all the replies, again! You have no idea (well, I guess you do...LOL) how much it means to me. I love this forum!

We already know based on my past and such that it is indeed my L4/5 causing my pain. He said he wanted the Myelogram to check for any calcification, and because of my T11/12 narrowing (which I didn't think to ask if he was talking about the disc height (herniation), the canal, or something else). The contrast MRI he is doing just on my lumbar, which the nurse said was because of the Air Force's MRI scans are not good enough (which I totally agree with...LOL..they are either dark or grainy). We've already decided on fusing, so I guess this will help him decide what type and approach to use. I've had a discogram done before, and yes...that was not fun! LOL But they told me the only pain I would feel, if any, would be from the local numbing or if I got the post-myelo headache. I have also had contrast MRI's before without any problem. Wasn't the issue to do with oil-based dyes for Myelograms?
__________________
Love & Health To All,
Shanti (Find me on MySpace & Facebook)

DX's: L4/5 herniation ('98), DDD, DJD, T11/12 herniation w/endplate changes & 10% wedging/focal kyphosis/canal stenosis, cervical spondylosis C4-6, endplate changes L1-S1, L4/5 reherniation ('08), L5/S1 canal stenosis/central herniation ('08). Surgeries: Failed L4/5 IDET ('99), Failed L4/5 open microdiscectomy ('00), L4/5 TLIF (April '08).
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