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Discography - Header - Image


The discogram also known as diskogram is a test procedure to examine back pain and evaluate or determine which abnormal disc or discs in the spinal cord is the source of the back pain.

What is discography?

Spinal discs are jelly donut-like cushions with a touch protective cover located between the vertebrae of the spinal cord. Through the help of discography, a specialist can help you plan a course of treatment.

How is discography administered?

1. Preparation

The patient lies down on their stomach while getting ready for the procedure. A medication to relax your nerve is given through an intravenous (IV) line. An anesthetic is also administered to desensitize the skin and all the tissue surrounding the disc area.

In this procedure, a small X-ray device referred to as a fluoroscope is utilized to help the physician see the image where the exact position of the disc is located. It is also noted that the patient should be conscious during the procedure to give the physician feedback on how or what he is feeling.

2. Inserting the Guide Needles

A fluoroscope is used to help the physician locate the targeted disc. A needle called a guide needle is slid into the anesthetized track traversing to the fringes of the disc. A smaller needle is then slid into the guide needle going to the core of the affected disc. The same procedure is done on several discs depending on the number of injured discs.

3. Discs Tested

Injected by contrast dye. With every injection, the patient may experience either pain or an increase in pressure. If the patient experiences pain, he will be asked by the physician to differentiate the pain he is experiencing now vs the pain he has felt previously. Should the pain be similar, the experience is an indicator of a diseased disc. Pictures are taken through the fluoroscopic machine after each disc test.

4. Needles Removed

After the procedure, the needles are then withdrawn. The entry wounds are cleaned and the patient is taken for a CT scan to generate more images of the interior part of the disc or discs.

5. End of Procedure

Normally, discography only takes an hour or less to complete. The patient may still feel some soreness coming from the affected area for a few more days after the procedure. Because of this, the patient is often advised to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen with an ice pack on the affected area for a few minutes each day until the pain subsides.

Why Choose AZ Pain - Image

Why choose AZ Pain and Spine Institute for your treatment?

We are a team of pain management doctors and specialists. Our physicians have double board certification in their chosen fields and have undergone additional fellowships in pain management. Our professionals have also received advanced medical training in minimally invasive spinal procedures and pain management, including Discography.