Procedure and Side Effects of Lumbar Myelogram

Submitted by Nic on October 18, 2012

The lumbar area of the spine is one of the divisions given to the spine for the purpose of medical analysis. The spinal column contains the spinal cord which is vital for the basic processes of mobility and sensory perception. The nerves that control movement and control the transmission of sensory signals may not be able to do their job because of some infection or damage in the spinal cord. In order to detect such a problem, one may have to undergo a lumbar myelogram.

A lumbar myelogram is a procedure that involves a lumbar puncture and the subsequent injection of a contrast material. Contrast materials are used to light up an area of the body for the purpose of imaging. Imaging scans can then be used to produce a higher resolution image of the area. Furthermore, any obstruction, damage or abnormal growth will be detected because that area will not light up as the contrast material will not enter such areas. A lumbar myelogram procedure is a full day procedure as far as the patient is concerned. The lumbar myelogram procedure will begin in the morning and the patient will be allowed to return home only at night as long as there are no lumbar myelogram side effects. During a lumbar myelogram, the patient will be made to lie down and the area will be numbed using some numbing agent. A thick needle will then be inserted into the spinal cord and some spinal fluid will be removed for analysis.

Subsequently, the individual will be injected with a contrast material that is used to light up the area around the spine. Once this is done, the patient's wound is sealed and the patient is moved to the room where imaging scans are performed. Here, the patient will be made to lie in various positions so that the scans can be conducted from different angles which allows for better accuracy and better detail in the imaging. The use of an anesthetic as part of the lumbar myelogram technique is done to make sure that there is minimal lumbar myelogram pain.

There are some lumbar myelogram side effects that may occur in some patients. It is not uncommon for an infection to develop as a result of the procedure itself. Adequate care must therefore be taken to ensure that this does not happen. One of the more common lumbar myelogram side effects is the development of pain in the area. Once the anesthetic wears off, the incision wound will hurt as the body will be repairing the damage.

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