Discograms are used for examination of the intervetebral discs. The purpose of this test it to determine which disc has structural damage and whether or not the disc is causing pain. This test can also show if a disc has tears in it or if has begun to rupture. This test may also be useful prior to surgery to help the doctor find the location of the problem disc.
On test day the patient will have been given a relaxing medication to be taken one hour prior to the test. The day of the injection, the patient will be asked to change into a gown, which allows the doctor access to the area of the back to be injected and to clean the area. The patient lies down on the table and the area of the neck/back to be injected is sterilized with betadine, which may present as a cold sensation on the area. The area is then numbed with a local anesthetic at the different levels that will be injected. Then under fluoroscopy a needle is inserted into the anesthetized area and into the disc space. A small of fluid will then be injected into the space to increase the pressure in the space. If the test causes pain that is similar in nature to your current back and leg pain it is a good that this particular disc is causing the problem.
The needle is removed and is repeated at each joint location as needed. Patients typically only feel a pinch and sting associated with the administration of the numbing medication, but only pressure with needle insertion.
After the injection the patient may feel tenderness at the site where the needle was injected, which can be treated by applying an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes. The patients are also asked to take it easy for the rest of the day and normal activities may be resumed the following day. There is a chance that the patient may feel an increase in pain in the area over the next few days, due to increased pressure from the injected fluid but this should resolve.
For more detailed information or questions please contact your doctor. This information is not to be substituted for medical advice
please contact our main office at (239) 591-2803.