I just got the results back from tests done after a failed spinal surgery to fuse my lumbar spine. The report says that no definitive diagnosis could be made. The surgeon explained this by saying the results of testing did not match my symptoms. What's really going on here?
You didn't say why your operation was a failure. Are there signs on X-ray that the fusion didn't take? Is there still motion at that segment? Or are you having persistent pain and decreased function despite good X-ray findings?

Either of these situations occurs in up to one-third of all spinal fusion patients. Further testing may be needed to get to the root cause of the problem. Myelography may be done.

The myelogram is an X-ray of the spinal cord and the space around it. A needle is inserted into this space to inject a special dye. Myelography can show changes in the normal shape of the spinal cord, spinal canal, and spinal nerve roots. It is a good way to find spinal lesions caused by disease or trauma.

Your doctor may also order an MRI. Studies show that MRI may be better than a myelogram to show the different changes in the spine. MRI can show fibrosis and disc problems. Ask your surgeon what he or she would recommend as a next step for you based on results so far.