What is Discography?

Discography is the injection of x-ray dye into the disc and it is used to diagnose discogenic pain (what level disc is causing the pain.) After the dye is injected an x-ray called a discorgam in taken. This procedure is usually done at the request of the patients surgeon and is used to plan surgery or IDET procedures.

The procedure takes 30-45 minutes, like an Epidural Steroid Injection the procedure is performed under fluoroscopy (X-ray guidance.) The procedure involves inserting needles through the skin into deeper tissues and into the center of the discs that are being tested. When a normal disc is being injected you will feel a sense of pressure. When an abnormal disc is being injected you will feel pain. When you feel the pain you will need to distinguish between the normal pain you are feeling and different pain. Most of the patients receive intravenous sedation to make the procedure easy to tolerate.

Discography does not treat your chronic pain condition. It is a diagnostic test that allows your Doctor to plan your therapy.

This procedure is safe. However, with any procedure there are risks, and or side effects. The most common side effect of this procedure is a temporary increase in pain. Fortunately the serious side effects are uncommon. We usually recommend taking 2-3 days off of work after the procedure.


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