Enquiries
 
  Home   Practice   Staff   Anatomy & Causes   Technology   Treatment Options   Glossary   Resources  
 
Medical
Analgestic
Anti-inflammatory
Anti-depressant
Anti-convulsant
Anti-biotic
Steroids
Surgical
Low Back
Cranial
Peripheral Nerves
Interventional Radiology
Aneurysm Treatment
Spinal Injections
Therapy
Chiropractic
Exercise
Hydrotherapy
Massage
Osteopathy
Physiotherapy
Rehabilitation
 
Epidural  |  Facet  |  Foraminal  |  Discography

Spinal Injection - Discography

What is a Discogram?

A discogram is a diagnostic test performed to view and assess the internal structure of a disc and determine if it is a source of pain. The test is performed on an outpatient basis in a hospital or medical facility by either a radiologist or surgeon. A local anesthetic is used to numb the target area. Fluoroscopy, an imaging technique that projects an x-ray type picture onto a monitor, is used to guide the spinal needle into the suspect intervertebral disc. A radiopaque dye is then injected through the spinal needle into the nucleus (center) of the disc.

How is it Done?

DiscogramThe patient is given intravenous medication as a relaxant and pain reliever. A local anesthetic is injected into the patient's skin in the area that is being examined. A needle is inserted through a previously placed needle in the skin and into the disc under fIuoroscopy. A saline solution and radiopaque dye are injected into the disc or discs if more than one disc is being examined. A CT scan is usually performed on the painful disc after the dye is injected to obtain images of the dye distribution. This will demonstrate anular tears, scarring, disc bulges and changes in the nucleus of the disc. During the test, the dye pattern is evaluated for leaks occurring outside the intervertebral disc walls. At this time, the patient's symptoms (e.g. back pain, tingling sensation) may be replicated due to the pressure created by the dye injection (provocative discography).

Expected Results

  • Recreation of painful symptoms if the disc/discs is abnormal.
  • Confirmation of a diagnosis and/or determination of which disc/discs is the source of pain.

How Long Does It Take?

Thirty minutes plus an additional thirty minutes if a CT is indicated plus recovery time of several hours.

Back to Top