Discogram Treatment

What is a Discogram?

A discogram is a diagnostic procedure used to determine if there is any structural damage to the vertebral discs, and whether this damage is causing the patient’s pain. A disruption of the disc’s integrity is often a common source of pain. This procedure is generally performed to determine the location of the problem and what type of operation might be needed in order to fix it.

Under x-ray guidance, local anesthetic is used to numb the area being tested. Contrast dye is then injected through a needle into the middle of the disc(s). If there is no damage to the disc, the patient should only feel minor discomfort. If there is damage noted, the patient might feel pressure, familiar pain, or unfamiliar pain. If the patient feels familiar pain, it is very likely that the disc is the source of the patient’s problem. Although x-rays will be taken during the procedure, it is also common to receive a follow-up CT scan in order to see multiple views of the disc.

In order to address any discomfort to the patient during the discogram, the patient may choose to receive mild sedation before the procedure begins, as well as IV pain medication following the procedure’s completion.