Discography, a testing method, benefits the physicians in viewing and assessing the internal structure of a disc in order to determine the exact source of back pain. Further it helps in identifying that whether the pain is from the disc or it is in the case of multiple level herniations.
How is it performed?
In this process, patients lie on their side or on their stomach onto the table equipped with a fluoroscopic x-ray machine. With the help of this x-ray machine, the physician will insert a needle into the skin exactly at the center of the disc being examined. When the needle is inside the disc, a contrast material is injected and the needle is taken out. Pressure of the discs is measured with the help of a pressure gauge. For patient’s comfort certain sedatives are offered.
Are you a candidate?
Patients who have tried all types of invasive tests to know the source of the pain and are still left in vain should definitely go for Discography. A persistent spinal (cervical, thoracic, lumbar) pain and disc abnormality are the clear signs to get yourself treated under this procedure.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure is carried out in 20 to 60 minutes depending on how many levels are injected.
To further visualize the discs after the treatment, the patient is required to perform a CT scan of the back. In case of no complications the patient is discharged in 40 to 60 minutes. We usually recommend taking 2 to 3 days off from work which would be the recommended recovery period.
After having undergone the discography procedure, in the first month only, the disc starts healing and the patients start reverting back to normal activity. However, some patients do experience discomfort for one or two days. This also can be alleviated by following our doctor’s prescription or by using ice and oral analgesic.