When is myelography of the spine: pros and cons research

Myelography — a modern method of spinal examination

Myelography is an effective method for the radiological examination of the spine, mainly subarachnoid space of the spinal cord.

The technique is among the most reliable and effective ways to diagnose many diseases of the spine at the earliest stages.

The essence of the research

The essence of this research is the introduction of a special radiopaque substance directly into the subarachnoid space that surrounds the spinal cord and nearby nerve endings.

This dye fills the cavity of this space and how would the «highlights» from the inside, all the anomalies and pathology.

As a result of this study is to obtain reliable images of the spine in real time, which allows you to diagnose any pathology of the spine are in the initial stages.

In these pictures you can see in detail all parts of the spine, its nerve endings and shell. More reliable information about the state of the spinal cord is not granted, according to many experts, no x-rays.

The role of such a substance commonly used gaseous substance is oxygen or nitric oxide, or special substances belonging to the category of Radiocontrast – it can be deminex, omnipak or other medication.

The main indications for the procedure

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In the majority of cases, the procedure of myelography is recommended in order to detect a variety of pathological processes in the spinal cord and of the spine, spinal canal, and nerve endings that supply nutrients to the spine.

Indications for radiographic studies of the spine:

  • the procedure is performed in case of complaints of the patient at a constant feeling of numbness and weakness in the limbs
  • compulsory if you suspect the appearance of herniated discs;
  • radiographic procedure assigned to identify benign and malignant tumors;
  • timely detection of the initial stage of the inflammatory process in the field of sheath of spinal cord;
  • necessary for diagnosis of malfunctioning of the spinal nerves;
  • identification of possible narrowing of the spinal canal and its blood vessels;
  • also, this procedure is indicated for degenerative disc disease, spinal fracture, and other serious back injuries.
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The preparatory phase

Before you go for myelography should be familiar with the basic stages of its implementation and the rules of preparation for the procedure.

The basic rule of training is to ensure that in your gut there was absolutely no content that would interfere with the carrying out radiographic studies.

This means that for at least 10 hours before the procedure, you should refrain from eating any food.

Study with empty intestines – the key to maximum reliability of the result. Often patients are encouraged to give up not only from food but from water.

The doctor may recommend absolute lack of fluids for at least 8 hours before the examination. More details about the rules of preparing for the procedure can be obtained directly from your doctor.

Be sure to let the doctor about a possible pregnancy, even if it is in fact at the moment is not confirmed, allergic reactions to various medication and used medication.

Even if you took before the procedure, a harmless sedative – you must inform your doctor.

In preparation for myelography is strictly forbidden to use drugs from the group of antidepressants.

Also, do not use any substances, anticoagulants, focused on blood thinners, and medicines that are usually taken with diabetes.

It is recommended to remove all jewelry, as they can greatly impede the passage of x-ray beams.

Just before medical procedures the patient can be administered a specific sedative drug that will have a calming effect on the psyche of the patient and help him safely move diagnosis.

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This practice takes place not in every case – it depends on the learning history of each individual. In no case should not be taken sedatives on your own – they have to assign only the treating specialist.

Typically, sedative drugs are prescribed to patients who do not tolerate possible pain, since myelography is usually performed without anesthesia.

How is the procedure?

For insertion of the needle with radiopaque substance the patient takes a supine position or on its side. In some cases, the patient may just sit on the couch, slightly leaning down.

In the back, namely in the area between the vertebrate disks, the injection is administered with a pre-prepared contrast agent.

The best option is the introduction of the drug in the lower lumbar spine – with this option not only gives the most effective results, but also gives the patient minimal pain.

During the procedure, the doctor a little tip the couch on which the patient lies – this allows the contrast agent to completely fill the subarachnoid space and fully reveal all available pathology of the spine and nearby organs.

In many modern clinics perform myelography of the spine with three-dimensional reconstruction – this unique method makes it possible to obtain images with detailed images of each spine and all the nerve endings.

Features of passage

Myelography has some of its features – consider some of the rules of procedure that will help you to avoid the unpleasant consequences of the study:

  1. If you have a fear of injections, you must inform your doctor. He can prescribe you some sedatives, which reduce fear to the minimum, or the application of local anesthesia before inserting the needle with the drug.
  2. In order to avoid unpleasant pain after the procedure, the patient is recommended to use the maximum amount of liquid with which the contrast will be excreted from the body in a natural way.
  3. Patients after the diagnosis is recommended in a day or two to do a simple exercise. It will positively affect the excretion of contrast medium. In this case, special preference is given different exercises that involve the back bending in different directions, and other exercises.
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Why myelography is the best choice?

This x-ray procedure has its undeniable advantages, and some disadvantages.

The benefits include:

  • this procedure refers to the most reliable and safe for the human body;
  • using myelography, the doctor will be able to obtain images with detailed image of the smallest of the spinal vessels, which are very difficult rassmotret conducting other research;
  • a contrast agent introduced into the body, easily removed and does not cause any harm.

The disadvantages include such things as:

  • after the procedure the patient may frequent occurrence of headaches, dizziness and feelings of weakness throughout the body;
  • also used contrast medium may provoke the patient’s nausea, heartburn, vomiting and other disorders of digestive system;
  • in extremely rare cases, the injected substance may cause some allergic reaction in the patient, which will require further treatment from a specialist.