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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