Discography is a diagnostic procedure in which X-ray dye is entered with bearable pressure into the disc of your spine. While the procedure is taking place, your doctor notices the presence or absence of pain that helps your doctor to confirm if the disc is behind producing pain. After the x-ray dye is inserted, the x-ray picture is taken of your discs. That image is called a “discogram”; it can be normal or may reveal tears (fissures) in the lining of your disc. Discography is to confirm or verify which specific disc is behind generating pain and it also helps your doctor to plan an ideal treatment for your pain.
The Process is carried out as
- Discography is performed between 30 to 45 minute outpatient, it is X-ray guided treatment that is performed by local anesthesia
- Technique is to decrease the risk of infection, and for lumbar discogram, two to four discs are observed.
- Your physician will numb your skin and soft tissue overlies each disc with local anesthetic such as lidocaine, then doctor will take a small needle into the center of every disc and transfer some radio-opaque dye.
- After that doctor will take an X-Ray to see the disc anatomy and confirms whether dye is leaking out of disc or not.
- The pressure is actively checked within every disc during or after dye injection.
- Your response during dye injection will help doctor to find typical pain symptoms, different pain symptoms or no pain at all.
- Mostly a CT scan is taken soon after the discogram to observe more closely at the process of dye spread through the disc.
- CT is very affective to diagnose a tear or disruption in the layer outside of a disc.
- All it does is determine whether you have painful disc or not, and it is also helps your doctor to opt for an appropriate treatment.
Am I a Candidate?
Patients who have gone through many conservative tests in order to diagnose the real source of pain, and yet they have failed to diagnose it are ideal candidate for Discography. Continues spinal (Cervical, thoracic, lumbar pain and damaged disc are the indications to choose this procedure for diagnosing purpose.
How long will this procedure take?
This procedure does not take more than 60 minutes and it also varies on how many levels need to be injected
How long will it take to recover?
In order to see the images of discs after the treatment, you are required to go through a CT scan for your back. If no complication is observed by your doctor then you will be discharged between 40 to 60 minutes. Patients are mostly suggested to take 2 to 3 days rest from work and that rest is called recommended recovery period.
Mostly patients go through lenient back pain after the discography, but this will last for a day or two, then the pain will get to baseline.