OSF St. Joseph Medical Center

Bloomington, Illinois


You have been scheduled to have a myelogram. This is a diagnostic procedure using fluoroscopy (a form of x-ray).

When to Come, and Where to Go

Please arrive 2 hours prior to the time that your test is scheduled. Check in through the admitting department located at Entrance A. Admitting will then direct you to a room.

What to Bring with You

You may have had x-rays (x-rays, CT scans, MRIs) done at a hospital other than OSF Saint Joseph Medical Center. Please bring copies of the films or a CD with you the day of your test. You may also request that your doctor’s office send the films or results to us at the hospital before your test.

How to prepare

You should have nothing to eat or drink eight hours before the test.


You may take medication as prescribed with small sips of water, except for those listed below.

Discontinue Blood thinners

  • For Aspirin, Aggrenox, NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aleve, Nuprin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, etc.) stop for 3 days prior to procedure.
  • For Coumadin, Brilinta, Plavix, Ticlid stop for 5 days. You must contact your physician to discuss your needs during this time.
  • For Effient or Pradaxa stop for 7 days. You must contact your physician to discuss your needs during this time.
  • For other blood thinners and questions, please contact your physician for instructions.

You should stop any Antidepressants and Antipsychotic medications 2 days prior to your exam and 1 day after the exam.

You should stop any muscle relaxers 2 days prior to your exam and 1 day after the exam.

If you are taking Glucophage (Metformin) or Glucovance (combination of Glyburide and Metformin) you must stop these the day of the exam and hold for 2 days after the exam.

¹Before stopping any medications check with your physician to make sure it is OK to stop them!

If you have a history of asthma, contact your physician. You may need to take special medications prior to your exam.


Please inform your physician’s office ahead of time if you have an iodine allergy.

Pregnancy Testing Policy

It is the policy of OSF Saint Joseph Medical Center to conduct pregnancy tests on all female patients having a CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, Angiography, or X-ray exams of the pelvic/uterine area. This policy is to avoid potential harm to an unborn baby as a result of the radiation or medications given during the exam. A pregnancy test is required prior to the procedures listed above and should be ordered by your physician if you are a female between the ages of 10 and 55 and if you have not had a hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy. Home pregnancy tests are not acceptable.

If you know that you are pregnant please notify your physician.

Before the Procedure

Once you arrive in your room you will be asked to put on a hospital gown. You will have blood drawn for labs and an IV will be started. A nurse may

also perform a physical assessment. One of our radiology nurses will come over to explain your procedure in greater detail and answer any questions you may have. You will be asked to sign a consent form before the procedure is started.


You will be asked to wear a hospital gown for your exam. A registered nurse and a registered x-ray technologists will help a radiologist with your test. The test will take about 60 minutes. You will lie on your stomach on an x-ray table under an x-ray tower. The radiologist will clean your back with betadine and localize the area with a numbing agent called lidocaine. He will then insert a spinal needle into your spinal canal and inject contrast. Contrast allows your spinal column and surrounding areas to be seen on x-ray.

Both the radiologist and the x-ray technologist will take films. It is routine for a CT scan of your spine to be done immediately following a myelogram.

After the Procedure

After the CT scan you will be taken back to your room. Following your procedure you will be on bedrest for a minimum of 4 hours. A common side effect of a myelogram is a headache. Drinking plenty of fluids and caffeinated beverages will help prevent headaches. If you are medically stable, you will be discharged one to three hours following your procedure.

You must have someone available to drive you home.

Test Results

You will need to make arrangements with your doctor to get your test results (follow-up doctor’s appointment, calling the doctor’s office, etc.). Test results may return to physician’s office at different intervals so please allow 5 days before calling for results.