What is a Discogram?
A Discogram is a pre-surgical diagnostic test that consists of putting pressure on the inside of a disc by injecting dye into the center of the disc. The goal of this test is to try and reproduce your pain. If your pain is reproduced while the doctor is putting pressure in your disc and the contrast dye goes into an area where it is not supposed to, it identifies which discs are responsible for causing your pain.
What can you expect during your visit?
This procedure is done only in a facility setting. You will check into the facility an hour and a half in advance and must fast for 6 hours prior to your procedure. You will be brought back and prepped by a nurse on staff and an IV will be placed for conscience sedation. In the procedure room you will be placed in the prone position and a fluoroscopy guidance machine will be brought into position. Your doctor will then numb the area with a local anesthetic and insert a needle into the disc and inject the dye. The procedure takes about 15 – 20 minutes and consists of placing 2-4 needles into the discs and injecting the dye into each one. Your doctor will ask you questions about your pain level. After the procedure you will be monitored for about 30 minutes.
What happens after the injection?
You will be asked not to drive for at least 24 hours after the procedure and you must have a driver drive you home from our office. The day of and the following day you may feel some discomfort in the injection areas. Because the discogram is meant to reproduce your pain, you can expect to hurt and be sore for up to 2 weeks after the procedure. After the procedure you will have a CT scan of the area and will follow up with your surgeon.
Is there anything specific I need to tell my doctor prior to this procedure?
You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant, on blood thinners, diabetic, or if you have any other concerns you would like to address beforehand.
The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.